Have you heard the story of the young boy who set out to save the starfish washed up on the beach one day? He walked along the ocean’s edge, throwing as many starfish as he possibly could back into the ocean to survive. An older gentleman came along, saw what he was doing and tried to convince the young boy that it wasn’t worth his efforts to do what he was doing. The young boy looked at him, bent over and tossed another starfish into the ocean, and said, “It was worth it for that one!”, and kept on his way.
I can’t possibly fix the problem of world hunger or homelessness by myself. But I can share a gift card I’ve had laying around with someone who would truly appreciate that cup of coffee and pastry much more than me. Or I can offer to buy a homeless person a sandwich on any given day, and maybe even sit and share a meal with that person in their space. Perhaps in the conversation that follows, I learn that a clean shirt or a fresh pair of socks would bring some dignity to that person. A couple pieces of clean clothing in exchange for renewing a small part of another’s dignity? I can absolutely do that!
I can’t single handedly change the loneliness that the elderly experience in their last years. But I can offer to sit and talk to them about their childhood or their families or whatever topic makes them happy. I can offer to do a puzzle or watch a favorite television show with them. Read a book to them. Pray with them. Sit in silence and hold their hand. Simple tasks that ensure a small bit of dignity for them and little or no “skin off my back.”
I can’t bring world peace all by myself. But I can start with myself and be aware of how I interact with the people I encounter on a daily basis. I can choose to LISTEN to someone over responding to a text that has absolutely no significance to my day. I can choose to let someone have a parking space or merge ahead of me in congested traffic. I can hold a door. Smile at a stranger. Stop at a lemonade stand and drop a few quarters in the bucket and tell the kids running the stand they are doing a great job.
“It’s worth it for THAT ONE!” If I am more aware of the people around me, perhaps those people will become more aware of the individuals around them, and so on and so forth. I can change the world. YOU can change the world. It is so worth it for that ONE. We can’t continue in the direction we are going. Something has to change drastically. SomeONE has to start. I’ll be the ONE. So the world can be better for even just ONE. And we can keep passing it along till one day we are as ONE.