This week, my friend Dwiti introduced me to this beautiful Loren Eiseley story:
Every morning a young man would go to the shore, pick up starfish that were thrown out by the ocean, and throw them back into the ocean.
A passerby witnessed this for many days and finally one day asked out of curiosity, "Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"
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 because of the sun's heat."
Upon hearing this, the passerby commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."
There is no happier happiness in this world than being able to make a difference in someone else's life. The starfish that you threw back into the ocean will bless you for the rest of its life. Because of you one life lived longer, lived better.
Each one of us have our circle of love, a few twenty thirty or forty people amongst friends and family, whose happiness makes us happy, whose sorrows make us feel low, people around whom our whole life revolves. First of all, identify all such people who form your circle of love.
Every single day, make someone in your circle of love happy. If possible, make sure everyone in your circle of love is happy every day. Starfishes represent the struggles faced by people in our circle of love. Each time you spot a starfish in their life, throw it back into the ocean for them.
Every single day, every one of us is facing the heat of the sun in some way or the other. We all have our own tides. Life is nothing but miles and miles of starfish along a beautiful shore. We can either get too busy, enjoying the beauty of the shore and not notice the starfish at all. We will be busy with our own lives and never understand their pain and end up with excuses of having no time for our loved ones when they need us the most. Or we could do our bit and throw at least some starfish back into the ocean for them and add some more happiness in our circle of love.
If each one of us is sensitive to each others problems and genuinely care and love each other in times of need, problems won't seem like problems at all. It is not as difficult to fight a disease, when you have all your loved ones around your bed. Having them around doesn't cure your illness but it transforms those difficult moments into beautiful memories. Problems when faced hand in hand with our loved ones become memories.
Another acquaintance, Mr. Sunil Kulkarni, said these wonderful words in a casual meet this week, "If you remove memories from life, life becomes so lifeless. All we remember about life lived so far, is memories."
Identify your circle of love. Throw some starfish back into the ocean for each other and create happy memories.
Remember you cannot save all starfishes, but the one that you can manage to throw back into the ocean; you will make all the difference to that one.