Making A Difference

Editor's Note: The author of the following story is unknown. In this simple story, we learn how what we do, no matter how small, can make a difference in someone’s life. It may seem too daunting a task for any one of us to ‘change the world’. Often we don’t even try for the effort is futile. Perhaps, though, what we should do is try to change the world – one person at a time.

A young man was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance.  As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water.  Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean.

As the young man approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. The young man was puzzled.  He approached the man and said.  "Good evening, friend.  I was wondering what you are doing."

"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean.  You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen."

"I understand," the young man replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach.  You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many.  And don't you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast.  Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "Made a difference…to that one!"

There are millions of little things we can do, without taking much effort, to make this world a better place.


"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:40