Sometimes I’m conscious of how small my income is, compared with the big time gurus and business people. I notice how small my world is. I see what little change I manage to create with my not-for-profit activities.
And then I think about the ‘Starfish on the beach’ story?
A man and his daughter were walking along a beach at low tide. There were hundreds of starfish lying there, thrown up by a recent storm. The little girl picked up one and threw it back into the sea. Her father said, ‘But there are hundreds here. You can’t throw all of them back.’ And she replied, ‘Yes. But for that one, I made a difference.’
So it doesn’t matter if your wins are small. You don’t have to save the entire world. Every time I read a newspaper article about the terrible things going on in the world, and feel helpless, I think of the small things I’ve done recently to make the world just a tiny bit better.
And the most important impact we can have is on our friends and family. It’s particularly true about children or grandchildren. The gift of listening and supporting them is incalculable.
My son-in-law’s mother is always ready to help out with the children. She’ll take them out for the morning, something I fail to do because I have a 9-5 job (but I could do better, much better). Her influence on her grandchildren is something that will last their entire lifetime. So you should never feel that the change you make is unimportant.
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