There’s a poem by Saxon N. White Kessinger titled “No Indispensable Man.” Here is a portion of that poem:
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you will be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter;
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you’ll find in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
It’s a nice poem, and it makes a point. But I also believe it misses a point.
I understand that when people begin to think too highly of themselves, they may need to be brought down a notch or two. However, I also believe there is a danger in telling people they can’t possibly make a difference in the world around them.
I prefer the story (adapted from “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley) about the young boy walking on the beach where several hundred starfish had washed up on shore. One by one, the young boy would pick up a starfish and toss it back into the water. An older gentleman walked up to the young boy and said, “Son, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of starfish washed up on this beach. You can’t possibly make a difference.”
Without looking up, the young boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the water. He looked up at the man and said, “It made a difference to that one.”
You see, you can make a difference… and you should! You may not be able to help everyone, but you can help one person.
Someone in your life could use some help from you today.
Someone could use some encouragement.
Someone could use some wise counsel.
Someone could use a kind word.
So I say,
Splash as you please,
Stir up the water galore!
Don’t stop for a minute,
Because someone around you needs more.
What will you do to make a difference today?