You may have gathered by now that I absolutely LOVE a good quote or story. Different stories and quotes resonate differently with us all but there are some that seem to touch the right note and mean something to everyone who reads them. I truly believe that the story that follows in this edition of Acorns to Oaks is one of them, regardless of your role and path in life.
Whenever I tell people that I am a Social Worker and/or a Life Coach, I get one of a number of responses ranging from raised eye brows and ‘why?’ or ‘uh oh’, right up to the interested and ‘wow!’. Within this scale is usually the question of how I cope with the workload and the stress and whether I still, after 16 years, have hope that what I do truly helps and makes a difference to people. Among my range of answers is often this story. I first read it what feels like aeons ago but it resonated so profoundly with me that it has stayed with me, and I regularly draw on its message when things feel overwhelming. This story reminds me of why I became a Social Worker, and why I am now working as a Life and Wellbeing Coach helping other people, including those in Social Work and Social Care, to find their happy and achieve a healthy balance in their lives.
So, once again, are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin………
“Once, on ancient Earth, there was a human boy walking along a beach. There had just been a storm, and starfish had been scattered along the sands. The boy knew the fish would die, so he began to fling the fish to the sea. But every time he threw a starfish, another would wash ashore. An old Earth man happened along and saw what the child was doing. He called out, ‘Boy, what are you doing?’ ‘Saving the starfish!’ replied the boy. ‘But your attempts are useless, child! called the man, ‘Every time you save one, another one returns, often the same one! You can’t save them all, so why bother trying? You can’t possibly make a difference’. With a starfish still in his hand, the boy thought about this for a while, and then, as he flung the starfish into the welcoming sea, he replied, ‘made a difference to that one‘.”
– Adapted from ‘The Star Thrower’ by Loren Eiseley –
And that, my friends, is why I do what I do. To try and ‘save them all’ would be crossing in to Responsible FOR rather than Responsible TO territory. But to work with each person that comes to us, or we go to, in the best way we know how, believe you me, it will matter to them, and it does make a difference.
If you feel that you overwhelmed at the moment and would like some support to achieve a more balance in your life, please contact me on 07523 830377 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE initial chat to see how I can support you.