’Make a Difference’

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3rd Nov, 2023

 We often wonder, in a world full of unkindness, in a world full of poverty, in a world full of all kinds of problems, will my little act of kindness or generosity make a difference and use that as an excuse to carry on with our life & do or contribute nothing.

In a memo to all company employees, a memo that found its way into the media, Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan urged each employee to save ten dollars. ‘If each of us saves just ten dollars, the cumulative amount would be a million dollars!’ he wrote.

Sage advice that, good for Infosys, good for any organization.

In a large company, it’s tempting for an individual employee to see large spends all around him and wonder: ‘What difference will my ten dollars make?’ The cumulative effect, the real impact, is often hard to perceive. And that keeps us from taking that first step. Keeps us from saving the ten dollars we easily can.

We don’t bother too much about throwing litter from our cars on to the streets either. ‘The city is so dirty,  What difference will another empty packet of chips make?’

And we don’t bother writing that small cheque that could help educate a poor girl child somewhere. After all, illiteracy is a huge problem in India, Paying to educate one child won’t alter the numbers, will it?

It’s like that at work too, We see a big problem and, fazed by its enormity, we stop taking those small baby steps towards solving it.

And soon it becomes our  attitude to life in general & we stop taking small steps to improve.

In situations like this, I am always reminded of this story – The tale of the woman and the starfish.

An old man, walking on a beach one morning, noticed a young woman walking ahead of him.

As she walked, she would bend down every now and then, picking up starfish and throwing them back into the sea.

Catching up with the woman, he asked her why she was doing this.

She replied that the poor starfish had got washed ashore at night, and would probably die in the morning sun.

‘But this beach stretches for miles and there are probably a million starfish on the shore,’ countered the old man. ‘How will your effort make any difference?’

The young woman looked at the starfish in her hand, flung it into the water and said, ‘Well, it sure made a difference to that one.’

In our lives and careers, we regularly come across such starfish moments – Seemingly insurmountable problems, where your individual contribution to the solution seems small, almost trivial.

The next time that happens to you, your starfish moment, remember you could do one of two things. Either shrug your shoulders and say why bother, what difference can it make, or take that small step and do your bit.

The beach may be long, there may be millions of starfish, But throwing one back means one life saved

You can make a difference!

This Festive season, do your bit, every little bit counts, make a difference & Stay blessed forever.