I stood at the back of the room as my friend Marlene recounted to the standing-room-only crowd, one of the many life altering experiences we once shared at a Human Trafficking conference.
The bile rose to the top of my throat as vivid memories of the depravity of man filled my mind. She comforted the audience (and myself) by promising not to expound on the stories that truly kept us from sleeping and eating for days after the conference. Her point was to awaken a passion in a world that can sometimes be overwhelmed by a need, or desensitized by a self-gratifying, media-driven society.
She confessed, that at that moment, she couldn’t take anymore. Overwhelming odds and numerous examples of “movie-worthy” real life stories washed over us like tsunami sized waves.
How could we possibly make a difference?
Then, to my surprise, she credited me for snapping her out of her compassion induced stupor. I recounted one of my favorite anecdotes, “The Starfish Story,” in which a young girl on a beach littered with starfish from the previous nights storm, gently tosses them back into the water. An elderly man, after watching a while, challenges her with the multitude of starfish on the beach, how could her efforts possibly make a difference?
The girl, bending to pick up another starfish, answers as she tosses it into the ocean,
IT MATTERS TO THAT ONE
“It matters to that one!” That statement drives the passion within us to keep fighting the fight. Her reminder echoed through my soul as I contemplated so many stories from my recent trip to Guatemala. So many needs, so much pain and hurt and injustice…how can we possibly make a difference? The same thought resounded over and over from many of my new friends on the trip.
From the “treasures” in the city dump, to the orphans and malnourished babies, from the mischievous teens with cerebral palsy to the inspiring viejitos, there must be more that we can do?
Be A Voice For The Voiceless
I am an advocate because girls, many between the ages of 12-14, can’t speak for themselves because they are being held captive in the sex trade.
I sponsor a child from a third world country that didn’t have the opportunities my son had growing up.
I leave my comfort zone from time to time so that I don’t become immune to a hurting world.
I plan to share some stories my friends are writing about – great organizations out there that give you and me a chance to be the change.
I’d love to hear from you too, what “Starfish” are you making a difference for?