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What Starfish and Personal Power Have in Common

What Starfish and Personal Power Have in Common

Tammy October 16, 2012 5 comments

We do not see things as they are,
we see things as we are.
Anias Nin
Art by Tammy Vitale. Prints available. Email me: info@TammyVitale.com

Hubby and I were talking politics and social justice this a.m.  It’s hard not to feel defeated and ineffective when you look at the state of the world and the state of the country – the division and, yes, hate that it swirling all around us and hyped regularly by the media.

I was reminded of the starfish story and thought I’d remind everyone else about it while we’re in the midst of  political bombardment from just about every media source out there.  I’m sure you’ve heard this little inspirational tale, but just in case, here’s a quick recap:

A young girl was walking along the beach early one morning. The tide was receding, leaving numerous starfish stranded on the beach. The girl began picking them up and tossing them back into the water.

Engrossed in her task, she didn’t notice the crusty old fisherman sitting quietly watching her. He startled her with a gruff, “What are you doing?” to which she smiled and enthusiastically replied, “I’m saving the starfish.”

He laughed at her and launched into a scoffing ridicule. “Look ahead of you down the beach,” he said, pointing to the seemingly endless expanse of sand and surf. “There are thousands of starfish washed up on this beach. You can’t hope to save them all. You’re just wasting your time. What you’re doing doesn’t matter,” he exclaimed in a dismissive tone.

The girl stopped, momentarily pondering his words. Then she picked up a starfish and threw it far into the water. She stood straight and looked him in the eye. “It matters to that one,” she said, and continued down the beach.

This is the power of one.  This is Personal Power showing up and taking a stand.

Remember this story the next time you get overwhelmed with all the situations in the world.  You may not have power to change them all, or even a big one.  But there are ones closer to home that you can change if you choose to see that you can and decide to take some small action.

Even one small action can have ripples.  As a matter of fact, every small act makes ripples.  And even though you may never see them touch the shore of change,  you may well have made a difference that only you, right now, could choose to make.  Your one little action may inspire someone else, who then starts savings starfish on her section of the beach.   You just never know.

Every decision you make – every decision – is not a decision about what to do.  It’s a decision about who you are.  Neale Donald Walsh  (and yes, I used this in my last post, but it bears repeating!)

Who are you?  And how do you see the world?

 

 

 

Comments

5
  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    October 17, 2012
    Tammy

    Yup! I already tossed my starfish into the sea (voted by mail). I record most everything I watch so I FF through all the political commercials I can. But they’re everywhere online, too…so, if I can’t avoid them, I mute them. All that hate and negativity is something I don’t need in my life. 😉

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Jacqualine-Marie
    October 18, 2012
    Tammy

    I’ve never heard the starfish story before. This post on your blog is an excellent example that one action can create a ripple. I could not sift through debris of an issue today, decided to close my eyes and give my thoughts to that magical process of letting go, and the idea of catching up with your blog surfaced – and here is the starfish story which holds the solution to my dilemma – and I thank you for taking the action of writing it. The ripple continues……:)

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    October 19, 2012
    Tammy

    It’s funny how it came through another discussion and then I had
    to ask hubby to remind me about the discussion because my concept went away and still wasn’t clear when i was writing it but I trust this kind of post because I know someone somewhere needs them whether I think they’re well written or not!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    October 19, 2012
    Tammy

    This is perfect for me – I have one or two crusty old fishermen in my life who are way too comfortable in trying to diminish my actions and ideas 😉

    At least one of them resides in my own head haha

    xx

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    October 19, 2012
    Tammy

    Ha! indeed! I know that voice!

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