Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk with a couple who rescue horses. They take in foals which are unappreciated by their owners, raising and nurturing them over the course of 3-4 years.
I see some similarities with my cousin and her husband, who have been taking in foster children for nearly 40 years now. They’ve helped the lives of dozens and dozens of kids.
|A young man was walking along a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he saw an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asked. “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.”“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”
The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”
The most depressing part of doing work like this is that they realize it’s a mere drop in the ocean. There’s an almost infinite amount of need out there, and your contribution can seem trivially small.
But these folks had a way of looking at it: “How can we NOT help these horses?”
You see, it’s about making a contribution where you can. Even Bill Gates, the richest person on the planet, isn’t able to fix everything he’d like to. So he does what he can.
There’s seven billion people on the planet, and every person has their needs. Some are truly heart-wrenching. Certainly many more than you or I can address.
But realize too that this means there’s seven billion people to help address the world’s problems. What an amazing resource! It’s an almost unlimited potential if we can get things moving the right direction.
Don’t get hung up on the magnitude of the need out there. It doesn’t matter.
- Focus on something that matters – where your gifts can be useful.
- Do something to make the world a better place.
- Find joy in what you are able to do rather than what you aren’t.
Even if it improves the life of one person, or one horse, or one starfish … that’s enough.