5 Aug 2016

Do You Care Enough to Make Your Mark on the World?


Do you feel powerless to make your mark on the world – especially in light of all of the pain and uncertainty so many people are facing?

That’s exactly what I was discussing with a coaching client of mine this week. The terrible tragedies that are being reported frequently had had a powerful impact on us both.

However I shared with him my own determination not to make myself invisible, but rather to become more visible through acts of kindness. The morning after the Nice atrocity, I was overwhelmed with sadness for those who had suffered. It was in the depths of my concern that my resolve hardened. We all have the power to counteract expressions of hate with acts of love and kindness. If you allow yourself to shrink in despair then you lose your power. However if you resolve to leave everyone you meet today better off as a result of having connected with you, then you can start your own ripple of lightness.

Daily acts of kindness can feel like a drop in the ocean, but they matter, and they can be infectious.

A young girl was walking along a beach and saw that thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm the previous evening. Every now and then the young girl would stop, pick up a starfish and throw it back into the ocean.

An old man approaching from the other end of the beach watched her with amusement.

As the man walked towards her he said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t even begin to make a difference!”

Initially the young girl was hesitant, but after a few moments she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. She looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea.

— Adapted from The Star Thrower

by Loren C. Eiseley

Acts of kindness have a habit of taking on a life of their own.

Acts of kindness have a habit of taking on a life of their own. Studies show that those who consciously do acts of kindness derive psychological health benefits. And much like the old man on the beach, you are likely to inspire others to pay forward the kindness you have shown them. An act of kindness can be as seemingly insignificant as sharing a smile with a stranger, offering some practical assistance or giving a sincere compliment. You can make a difference today by choosing not to become invisible and shrinking back in to your own life, but by standing firm in your resolve to share love and kindness whenever the opportunity arises today.