Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Inspirational Thought


but sometimes I feel like I want to change the world

and then I start to think about logistics

and get overwhelmed...

How could ONE person make any kind of a difference?

How could I really help the hundreds of millions of people suffering in the world?

and even if  I just picked one group of people to help...

Is their plight more important than another's?

A few weeks ago I expressed these feelings to a couple of my close friends, and one of them reminded me of this story:

The Starfish Story

Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed

a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.

The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?

You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,

and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”

I made a difference for that one.”


I love this story.

I gives me so much hope.

The wonderful thing is that you really don't need to be a high-powered politician or a wealthy celebrity to make a difference.

Average people like you and me can make a difference just by making the effort.

This Spring I read a WONDERFUL book called
about an average man who did just that

His name is

He was a broke mountain climber who stumbled on a bit of bad luck

Saw people who suffered

Made a promise

and kept it.

He is now the co-founder and director of the non-profit Central Asia Institute, and founder of the educational charity Pennies For Peace.

and has built countless schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan for impoverished children.

I've just ordered the sequel to Three Cups of Tea called Stones Into Schools

There is nothing special about Greg Mortenson, he isn't wealthy or powerful, but he has created something EXTRAORDINARY.

I highly encourage you to read about his life and accomplishments, and it may change yours.

Then today, I read an article about 'Africa's Mother Theresa'

her name is

Abebech Gobena

and she is the founder of the oldest orphanage in Ethiopia

She was orphaned at less than one-month old

at 11 years old she was married off against her will

Ran away from home

and supported herself through a basic education

This woman saw children suffering and dying in 1980 during Ethiopia's devastating famine, so she literally took them home with her. By the end of 1980 she had taken on 21 children and decided to open an orphanage funded by herself.

Sometimes she could only dress the children by tearing up her own clothes for them

Sometimes she could only feed them by selling things on the roadside

but she can proudly say that all of her children survived

I love these stories.

because they are ordinary people who really made a difference

They help me to realize that we can too

Love, Steve and Jess


  1. awesome. I completely agree, although still overwhelming at times.

  2. Shukran for this lovely post. I looooove the starfish story. And I love the Marcums!

  3. Afwan Chelsea! Congrats on your mission call! I think Brazil suits you perfectly :)


Love Notes