Posts Tagged ‘difference’

9780142001103_0Have you read the book – The Art of Possibility – by Rosamund Zander Stone and Benjamin Zander.  This book is full of stories, anecdotes and twelve practical and delightful steps that offer us the possibility of shifting our own beliefs and ways of looking at who and how we are in the world.  Today, at a project briefing (more on that later) I heard a story, one that I first read in this book, a story about making a difference in the world in a very personal way:

“Strolling along the edge of the sea, a man catches sight of a young woman who appears to be engaged in a ritual dance.  She stoops down, then straightens to her full height, casting her arm out in an arc.  Drawing closer, he sees that the beach around her is littered with starfish, and she is throwing them one by one into the sea.  He lightly mocks her: “There are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see, for miles up the beach.  What difference can saving a few of them possibly make?”  Smiling, she bends down and once more tosses a starfish out over the water, saying serenely, “It certainly makes a difference to this one.”

The authors go on to talk about how the story reveals nothing of the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of this rescue mission, or what proportion of starfish survived. “All we hear is that the young woman was smiling and serene, and that she moved in the pattern of a dance.  Absent are the familiar measurements of progress.  Instead, life is revealed as a place to contribute and we as contributors. Not because of the measurable amount of good, but because that is the story we tell.”

So… question to self:  What is my own (and yes, unique) difference that I am making in the world?  What is my contribution in the story that I tell?

Next Installment:  The Art of One Buttock Playing.



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