Making a Difference

By Sue Daly,

April 29, 2021

I recently watched the film ‘Queen of Katwe’, the true story of a young man who helps children living in the slums of Kampala aspire to and achieve a better life.  It is such a great example of one of my favourite stories, the Starfish on the Beach:

Once upon a time an old man was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

 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 the boy 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 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.  He turned, smiled and said “I made a difference for that one.”

 Adapted from ‘The Star Thrower’ by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

There is a saying that one drop raises the ocean, so even if to us it seems insignificant, every little helps.  So what is the difference you are making?  What are your small everyday actions and interactions that are making the world a better place?

Please share in the comments below and let’s see if we can make a difference together.

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3 thoughts on “Making a Difference”

  1. It’s a great story Sue, thank you for sharing. As you highlight, it’s important that we don’t underestimate the impact we can have and let that concern stop us from taking positive action.


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