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- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Will you be my starfish?
"What you are willing to tolerate, you cannot change." - Mike Murdoch
"Somebody needs you. Whether you realize it or want to believe it or not, your mission in life will be connected with somebody else. There is some person or persons you are to effect. Often, it seems impossible that you could individually ever make a significant contribution or have a meaningful life purpose but remember, your actions will send into motion a ripple effect that may well transcend more than you could ever imagine." - from Chuck Goetschel's life changing book "Simon Says"
Why Am I Here?
We could spend (or waste) a lifetime trying to figure out the reason for our existence. But the fact will remain, albeit unexplained, that we are in fact, here. So the question then, becomes, "what am I supposed to do while I'm here?"
"What is my purpose?"
Truth be told, I can't tell you what your purpose is, I can only tell you that you have one. No matter how small or how big, everyone has a purpose. In fact, when it comes to your purpose, there really is no small or big, there just is.
Your purpose may not be to change the world or make any kind of huge impact. At least not directly. Maybe you're the person who influences the person who does change the world. Get it? And everything you've been through in your life up until now has prepared you for today and who you must become to fulfill your purpose. So don't curse God for the struggles you've endured, for there are people who you can help ONLY because you've been through what they're going through now.
All we can do is strive to be better every day, to make a small difference everyday. We can smile at people. We can encourage. We can say thank you. We can serve better. We can care more. We can grow ourselves. We can lead by example.
We have so many opportunities to make small differences every day, and that require very little effort on our part. You never know the impact you might have because you chose to listen better, to pay attention, to care.
Here is a short story that exemplifies what I am talking about. This story is also featured in the book I mentioned above.
The Star Thrower
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. 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."
"I must ask, then, 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."
Upon hearing this, the wise man 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."
So what now?
I hope that someone out there reads this and is somehow touched, influenced, or inspired to do their part in making a difference in someone else's life. I hope that someone else, decides to go and get that book, and in doing so discovers their own purpose. I hope that I may have made my own small difference in your life today by sharing this with you. Perhaps today you can be my starfish.
"...Isn't that what the truly great leaders do? Don't they touch us this way, making us say to ourselves: 'I want to be in this relationship with you because being in this relationship brings out the best in me and makes me want to be and do all that I am capable of. You see greatness in me that I don't even realize. And you care for me even when I am not at my best.' Isn't this also what love is all about?" - A Leader's Legacy by Kouzes & Posner