Sunday, September 30, 2012


There is a story told of a young boy who was walking along a beach on the morning following a storm. Here it is:

While walking the beach, a man saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the sea.

As he came closer, he saw thousands of sand dollars the tide had thrown onto the beach. Unable to return to the ocean during low tide, the sand dollars were dying. He observed a young boy picking up the sand dollars one by one and throwing them back into the ocean.

After watching the seemingly futile effort, the observer said, "There must be thousands of sand dollars on this beach. It would be impossible for you to save all of them. There are simply too many. You can't possibly make a difference."

The young boy smiled as he picked up another sand dollar and tossed it back into the ocean. "It made a difference to that one," he replied.

All of us can make a difference to someone by performing small acts of kindness. Often, we never know what an impact we make with just a smile, a touch, or a kind word. That's why I refer to those who make a difference as "Ripplemakers". Pay it forward people, if you will.

But what is the toll taken when attempting to throw all of those sand dollars back into the ocean?  What does it do to us? Does the vastness of it overwhelm us and lead us to believe it is futile?
I ask myself this multiple times a day.  And the answer is always the same, yes. It is definitely worth it.  Sometimes you aren't told.  Sometimes you will never know.  And then sometimes you know instantly.  Or you will know several years from now. It doesn't always make us feel good.  Sometimes it hurts.  Sometimes you can't get the visuals out of your mind, the chaos of war, the hatred of one man for another and the damage and wounds inflicted. The pain for the rest of a life.  The anxiety the stress the isolation.  But when I visit one warrior that has only one remaining limb, I find the smile on his face, if only for a few minutes, is definitely worth it.  It made a difference to this one.
The moral is to breathe in, breathe out and throw that live sand dollar back into the ocean.  It is why we are on this make a difference in the lives of others.  If only one at a time!


1 comment:

  1. I know you have made a difference to this sand dollar, his family, and other people he has come into contact with. Thank you.