You have probably heard the story of the man walking on the beach that is covered in thousands of beached and dying starfish. He walks along the beach randomly picking up starfish and tossing them back in the water. A gentleman watching the man stops and says, “I applaud what you are doing but there are so many, does it really make a difference”. The fella picks up another starfish, throws it in the water and says, “It made a difference to that one”.
I write short, sometimes (hopefully) thought provoking stories. They are not eloquent works of literary genius. They are not written with long words, often do not display proper English or grammar and I am certain have been met with more than a few eye rolls or sneers at their simplicity. That’s ok. My goal is not to impress people with my grasp of the English language and command of proper grammar, it is simply to make a difference. That’s it.
Occasionally, I will get it right and post something that procures well over 100 likes, dozens of comments or double digit shares. Most times that is not the case, and that’s ok too. I can’t tell you the times I have written something that seemed to go un-noticed only to get a private message a day later saying, “thanks, I needed that more than you can know”. There is always one and if there is one then that is enough because, “it made a difference to that one”. I am a firm believer that God connects the right people at the right time to fulfill his purposes. Often it is just encouragement that is needed to keep someone pressing on.
For example, last week a friend of mine tagged me in a Facebook post that read…… “I made Shane Hale proud TWICE today. I chose NOT to post about politics and I also saved a turtle! A darn fine day. The point to be made here is that even if folks don’t “like” [according to Facebook] your posts, they ARE being read, and you ARE having more of an impact into the pricking of one’s souls, conscious, behavior and demeanor of their daily lives than you may think”. My friend had no way of knowing but that was just the encouragement I needed, precisely when I needed it. That’s how it works.
At this point in my life I feel that one of the greatest ways I can have a positive impact on people’s lives is through writing and sharing simple short stories of mostly faith based encouragement. It is something I am passionate about. I have no idea where that will lead but two years ago I was told to write and I acted on it. I’m a better person because of it and thanks to social media I have been able to make a positive impact on others, to make a difference, from coast to coast and even overseas.
Here is the thing. If you can impact someone’s life while doing something that you love that is something special. As my friend Nathan Cox said, “That sounds like purpose”. I agree.
So, know this. You have something positive to offer. Perhaps to the world perhaps to just one person. Figure out what it is and get busy offering it. Don’t be afraid of what people might think of you. Make a difference. It’s not above you, it is within you. Just do it.
Get in the boat. Do your part. Somewhere someone desperately needs you to not be scared to do your part. Even if it only makes a difference to one, one is enough.
1:6 / Nose to Toes / #16