One By One

It can be very discouraging to look at the world the way it is today. It seems that there are endless wars, refugees, unemployment, natural disasters, problems at home and problems in society. It feels like there is nothing that we can do to change the world for the better.

James Hilton wrote in his classic novel, Lost Horizon 1933 “Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful What madness there is. What blindness. What unintelligent leadership.  A furiously racing mass of bewildered humanity, strengthening, not in wisdom but in vulgar passions, crashing headlong into each other, motivated by greed and propelled into brutality.”  It seems the world hasn’t changed a bit since 1933.

If sometimes you're discouraged with the world and the way it is, don't give up! From what we understand from history, it seems that usually governments, armies, wars and great powers change history and the face of the Earth. So sometimes we're discouraged and tempted to think; "Well, who am I What can I do" It all seems so hopeless and impossible!

It looks like there's nothing that one person can do to change things for the better, so what's the use of trying, what's the use of doing anything?" - And we're tempted to give up and let the world go to hell, which it seems to deserve!

Well, you may not be able to change the whole world, but you can change your part of the world. The following story offers encouragement, that while we cannot solve all needy situations that we face, we can still have an effect. 

A friend of mine went for a walk on a Mexican beach.  

While walking along a beach, he saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water. Over and over the boy did this. 

He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

My friend smiled, and said, “I must ask why”

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, my friend commented, “But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

"We may not be able to change the whole world, but often, we can change our part of it"

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