One of my last assignments for the semester is to write a paper, give a presentation, and create a brochure of my ideal practice.
My ideal practice.
My mind races from idea to idea as I think of the 143 million orphans worldwide—and wonder at the number of those with disabilities… isn’t there a way to treat every child? To equip every caretaker? To impact every nation? To set every child in a family?
My heart breaks not at the 143 million (though it should), but over the ones and twos—the ones whose stories I know, whose smiles are captured above my desk, whose lives have so impacted mine. I want to fight for the ones. Because each one matters. All the hundreds, thousands, millions of them.
But I am just one.
So I remember a story my Mexican dad shared with me when I came across this starfish…
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,
“Well, I made a difference to that one!”
– adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley
So I shall start with one.
And if you start with one too then that’s double already.
After all, a kingdom is not built in a day.
(and lets be honest, I’d really prefer to start with at least a dozen or so…)