There was a man who was walking along a sandy beach where thousands of sea stars had been washed up on the shore.
He noticed a boy picking the sea star one by one and throwing them back into the ocean.
The man observed the boy for a few minutes and then asked what he was doing.
The boy replied that the sun was up and the tide was going out. Thus he was returning the sea star to the sea, otherwise they would die.
The man asked how saving a few, when so many were doomed would make any difference whatsover?
The boy picked up a sea star and threw it back into the ocean and said," it made a difference to that one".
The man left the boy and went home, deep in thought about what the boy had said.
He soon returned to the beach and spent the rest of the day helping the boy throw sea star into the sea.
~ Loren Eiseley
A familiar story and one that invites thoughtful reflection.
I find this story helpful when I feel discouraged about the work that I do. Oftentimes, we or rather our egos yearn to do the "big and influential stuff" and forget that our work, no matter how small matters.
Stay-at-home-moms or dads, parents, homemakers, unpaid and small-time bloggers/writers, teachers, nurses, pastors or priests, missionaries, volunteers, rescue workers, social workers, activists etc - your contributions matter to the specific populations you serve.
On days when you feel demoralized and weary, may this story brings you comfort and strength to keep going.