I recently had a conversation with a close family member about making a difference in the life of one person. During our exchange I shared the following story with her.

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!” (The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley)

This story has had a profound impact on my life because at one I time I too was a starfish that someone took the time to pick up.

Sometimes when I’m thinking about how daunting some of the world’s biggest challenges are and what I can do to help, I remind myself that if I can just help one person then I too can make a difference.

What if we all committed to helping one person?

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi