Changing the world, one small act of kindness at a time

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves. When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

I hear too often, both from my clients and generally, that there is no point doing something or other because it will make no real difference, that people are tired of being thwarted, don’t want to ‘keep bothering’ because ‘nobody is listening’. Maybe you’ve felt that way yourself. I know that it is very easy for us to get dissatisfied or disillusioned and feel that we’re fighting a losing battle and wonder if there is any point.

At times like this, rather than get swamped by these feelings of uselessness, we can simply choose to stand back and observe the bigger picture. In this way, we can see, without the emotion that clouds our vision, just how much good is actually being done, how our thoughts and deeds are touching and enhancing others’ lives.

People sometimes report that this doesn’t work for them or ask how far they need to step back. I ask them to step back as far as they need to in order to view it dispassionately. When you can view it without attachment, without emotion; when you can see it without feeling disenchantment; you can see all the good you’re doing.

I firmly believe that all our tiny steps make a difference. All our little acts of kindness matter and, even our kind thoughts, raise the vibrations, for want of another word, in the world around us. I know that we cannot control the world, or anything else outside us, but we are in control of ourselves; we can always change ourselves. We can change the way we respond to any stimulus, we can change our actions, we can choose the way we meet our world. We can even choose to believe in this choice!

If it still doesn’t feel like you have a choice how you react to stimuli, could you please just be open to the idea that there might be truth in what I say? Be open to the possibility that you can be happy and peaceful every single day? Open to the possibility that your life, too, can be amazing? Open to the possibility that YOU MATTER and YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Be the love

In every moment, you can decide to be the love and peace you want to see in the world around you. You can make a difference, you are way more valuable than you think. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.

One step beyond…

So, if you can accept this, how about accepting the idea that if we all joined forces we would be much stronger together than the sum of us all individually. If you think there’s only the tiniest possibility I could be right, it’s got to be worth a try, right? It can’t do any harm and can do sooo much good. I’d love it if you’d join me this week, united by the same goal, to make a real difference, to be the change. I’d love us to do this all week, all year, always and forever, but let’s make a start right now; let’s all be kind whenever we get the chance, let’s all add a little extra love and peace to our world. Let’s only follow kind thoughts about ourselves and others, and gently push all other thoughts aside. Let’s all send love and healing out into the world, wherever it is needed.

And another….

Maybe you could share this blog post or write one like it so that we can spread the word further, share the love we’ve created?

Please join me…let’s do this. Let’s be the love.

Next week I’ll be blogging about how this wonderful understanding works in real life. Until then, have a beautiful empowering and peaceful week and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Love Catherine x

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