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Make a Difference

Blog  Make a Difference

Last winter while we were at our condo in Myrtle Beach, I joined Judy for her daily 5 -mile beach walk.  It had stormed the day before, and several starfish had washed up on the shore.  I began picking them up, and taking them back down into the tide.  I did this because of a story I had once heard.

An elderly man was walking down the beach, and far ahead, he saw a young boy running from the shore down to the water.  When the man got closer, he saw hundreds, perhaps thousands, of starfish had been beached.  The young boy was gently picking one up, running down to the water, gently placing the starfish back into the water, and then running back to retrieve another.  The man smiled at the young boy’s exuberance, albeit misguided.  As he approached the young boy, he kindly advised him that there were so many of the starfish, the young boy would never  be able to return them all to the sea, so what he was doing, made no difference.  Without slowing down, the lad picked up another, returned it to the water, and ran back up the shore.  Without slowing down, he looked at the wise old man and said,

It made a difference to that one.”

There are a lot of ways that we can make a difference that may not matter on the greater scheme of things, but makes a difference to someone.  My wife makes delicious sour-dough bread, which we usually try to resist because of the carbs, so we find people to give the bread to.  It’s very simple, cost nearly nothing, but I know really makes a difference it that person’s life.  Just a kind word, or expression of gratitude, makes a difference.  If I receive very poor service, or food, at a restaurant, I will let the manager know, because if he is a good manager, he wants to be told.  But if I receive extraordinary food or service, I also tell the manager, and try to give the person’s name that went the extra mile.

Thank someone.  Let someone know they are in your prayers.  Send a card, or email just to say hi.  If they, or their children, have been honored, mail the clipping to them, and tell them how proud you are of them. WOW them with a surprise.  There are so many ways to make a difference.

October 26, 2013 is National Make a Difference Day.  Their website is;

http://www.usaweekend.com/section/mdday

I challenge you, starting today, to make a difference in someone’s life each day for the next week.  Studies have shown that if you do the same action seven times, and have a rewarding experience from it, it can develop into a habit.  So who knows, perhaps making a difference will become a habit.

I hope you will respond in a week, and let me know some of the ways you made a difference this week.

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About Jerry Haynes

OK, where do I start. I was born…., no that line has already been taken.Call me…, oops so has that one. Well, I won’t attempt to spout musical prose, and just be myself. I grew up in the small cotton mill town of Fries, VA. My parents were hardworking members of the middle class. They never earned more than a little over minimum wage, but I can never remember lacking for anything. After graduating from Fries High School in 1969, I started to VA Tech. After two years of partying (1st), going to movies (2nd), and studying, well, much further down the list, VA Tech decided I need a two year break to get my priorities straight. With a number 8 in the draft lottery, I knew that even if the Hokies didn’t want me, Uncle Sam did. I joined the US Navy. I got my priorities straight. I’m proud to be a Viet Nam veteran, but feel guilty I never got deployed. I graduated from Tech in 1977 with a BS in Civil Engineering. For the next 35 years I would work in both the private and public sectors. My first job took me to Tazewell County, Virginia where I soon joined the Jaycees. This ignited my passion for individual development. This passion still burns today.