With school, comes the stress of busy schedules and endless planning to get assignments in on time. On our way to and from class, we run into a lot of people here on campus. Everyone from students going to and from their classes to faculty and staff going about their days of running errands and thinking about the places they need to be in the next 5 minutes. If were were to stop and think about the people around us the way God had intended and the small interactions we have with them as we pass through the halls and walkways, we should ask ourselves; “Who are these people in our lives?” Are they just random people we see everyday but but never offer a simple sign of peace? Maybe, if we offered them a simple smile, friendly wave, or open a door for them we’ll bring them a bit of peace or brighten their day. The little things we do for others on a daily basis go a long way. Some may say it’s just a waste of time or it doesn’t make a difference to go out of your way to help someone you don’t know, but like I said before, even the smallest act of kindness goes a long way.
I heard a story about a local travel agency who decided to send their top photographer to the Caribbean to take photos for their newest brochure. The photographer booked a flight and headed down to the island. Once his flight reached the island, a terrible storm hit. With it came loud cracks of lightning, huge gusts of wind, and tall waves. Thankfully, the photographer made it safely to the island, but he wondered how the rest of the island fared. The next morning, as he was was surveying the damage from his hotel room, he asked the hotel manager about the damage to the rest of the island. The manager informed him that that the city received the brunt of the storm and debris was everywhere. The photographer then told the manager that he had come to take pictures of the island for the vacation brochure. The manager thought for a long time about where the photographer could go. Then he suggested the beach just a few minutes away. The manager remembered hearing some of the locals talking about the how the starfish were in migration when the storms’ waves scattered them all over the beach. Excited about the news, the photographer quickly called a taxi to take him to the beach. When he arrived, he was amazed by the view. Starfish of all different colors and sizes covered the beach. The mix of colors seemed to go on forever. It was a spectacular sight. The photographer began to take picture after picture. Just as he was about to take one more shot, out of the corner of his lens, he saw a few locals pointing and laughing. As he looked to see what they were laughing about, he saw a little boy running as fast as he could around the beach, picking up as many starfish as possible and throwing them back into the water. The puzzled photographer started to walk over to the boy. When he reached him, he asked, “What are you doing?” just as he was about to pick up another starfish. “You can’t possibly save them all so why does it matter.” Just then, the boy with the one starfish in his hand, threw it into the water and watched as it splashed back into the ocean. Then, he turned around to the photographer and said, “It makes a difference to that one.”
So, who are the starfish in your life? Maybe they are the complete strangers you walk next to on your way to class, or the people on you hall. Remember, that even with busy schedules each of us is able to make a difference in someone’s life through little acts of kindness each day. When you think about the people around you, Remember they are also children of God and you might be surprised by the difference you make in their lives, and even your own.