Sometimes when I write, it’s really just because I want to hang out on my site! More and more people are saying blogs are passe. Even if that’s true in general, it’s not true for those of us who blog! Most of us not only write blogs, but we read others’ as well. This reminds me a bit of an old wisdom-tale about a child on a beach saving the starfish.
A child was walking along a beach picking up the starfish washed ashore and flinging them back into the ocean. An older man watched him for a while, then approaching the child asked “what do you think you’re doing?”
The child responded “I’m saving the starfish!”
“You can’t save the starfish! What does it matter if you throw one back? Two more are washed ashore!” scoffed the man.
The child quietly flung another starfish into the ocean. “It mattered to that one!”
I often think of that story when faced with a challenge that I think matters but the world at large considers futile. I might not be able to make a difference to significant number of people, but sometimes I can make a significant difference to one person, and that’s what really matters to me.
As Saint Mother Theresa said:
We can’t all do great things, but we can each do small things with great love.
And I really love this Jewish proverb:
Save one child and you save the world.
As someone once said,
We can count how many seeds are in an apple, but we never know how many apples are in a seed.
So, do what matters to you! And if you discover it has mattered to even just one other person, thank God for the grace to have seen the fruit of your labor. Most of us will never know the impact we’ve had on other lives, especially the good repercussions of our actions. That’s largely because most people will tend to speak up more quickly and loudly if they have a complaint. Oftentimes people will notice how they benefited from someone’s kindness or example much later, and they don’t bother to return to give thanks. That’s okay! We just need to trust that the seeds of good we plant will eventually blossom and give fruit for someone on their journey, just when they need it. With the Lord, nothing is wasted.
“Life is short and we have not too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark way with us. O be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.
~ Henri-Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)