Dear Friends of Kanlungan sa Er-Ma, can I ask you a very serious question? How do you make a difference in the world? Some of you may find this a profound question, however, I don’t think it is. Let me share with you the story of the “Starfish”, adopted from “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eisley.

Early one morning as a Grandfather and his grandson were walking along the beach they came across a starfish that had washed up on the shore during high tide.

The grandson reached down and gently picked up the starfish, still moist and alive. “It’s beautiful, Grandpa, what’s going to happen to it?” the boy asked.

The grandfather replied that the starfish would eventually die. Sensing his grandson’s sadness, he quickly explained it was okay because the starfish would become a source of food for other sea creatures. He told the boy that he should not be sad because it is all part of the cycle of life.

The boy replied, “You mean it’s going to die, grandpa?”

A few minutes later, the grandfather sat down to read his newspaper and enjoy his morning coffee. After awhile, he noticed that his grandson had wandered down the beach. He called out,

“Son, what are you doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing the starfish back into the ocean.”

“I can see that. I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing the starfish in the ocean?”

“The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”

“Oh, son, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. Not only on this beach, but thousands of beaches all around the world.”

“You can’t possibly make a difference!”

With childlike wisdom, the grandson politely listened. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, far past the breaking waves. The young boy said, “That is true, but…I am making all the difference in the world to just this one.”

Friends of Kanlungan sa Er-Ma, I believe that we all have the power within each one of us to make a difference in the lives of others. It doesn’t matter what position you hold or from what status you come from, or what is your relegious belief. I am deeply convinced that each one of us has the vital role to play to make a difference in the lives of the needy and the marginalized. The issues, problems besetting the world today are overwhelming, and true we do not have the answers to all of them. We just need to remember that God designed us for a purpose and that making small changes in the world eventually will add up to something bigger in the life of another.

Let me leave you this challenge and question: Will you like that little boy in the story dare to make a difference in the world to just one?