Purposeful Acts of Kindness

The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar may be aw...

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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.”


My question to you is:  Have you made a difference today?

Sometimes as we look around at the crazy world we live in, we can feel hopeless and helpless. We see sadness, hurt, anger, misdirection, hunger and pain. But the truth is that the hope lives within us. We are each a light unto this earth. It is up to us, individually, to share that light, and make a difference.  It is not about affecting the masses, it is about helping one person…  and then another… and another. Your efforts will compound.

Recently, I saw a news report about a young man who opened fire inside of a store, killing several people in the establishment. What got him there? Could someone have made a difference in that young man’s life…  even only hours before?  We have heard those stories before. You know the ones where someone was going to hurt themselves or others—but then something happened. An intercession changed their course.

It is amazing what kindness can do— a smile, a hug, and simple words of encouragement. The smallest acts of kindness can move mountains. It can make ALL the difference.

I have been the recipient of kindness over and over again in my life. From the strangers who came to my aid in times of helplessness, to new acquaintances who said the words I needed to hear to shift my day from woe is me to embracing the moment.

We can make a difference, one person at a time. We have often heard of doing random acts of kindness, I disagree….they need to be purposeful acts of kindness — all of the time, everywhere.  Spread your joy, your gifts, your love and it will grow and multiply. It is possible that your one moment of kindness can be felt around the world.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
― Mother Teresa

Have you ever been the recipient of kindness that made a difference?

Amazing organizations that make a difference:

 Montgomery County Food Bank 

 Lions Club

St. Vincent De Paul

Rotary International

Habitat for Humanity  

Soldiers Angels


Interfaith of the Woodlands


9 thoughts on “Purposeful Acts of Kindness

  1. So true! You may never know just how little things you say or do effect someone who is in need of kindness. A smile is contagious and easy to give freely. Heck just taking the time to read a name tag and thanking someone personally for doing their job never lands on deaf ears.

  2. “Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”

    Sometimes it takes a pure, sincere and generous gesture of a child to remind us of the essence of goodness, of being able to give without expecting in return, to be able to totally believe that we can make a difference despite of the odds ahead. I heard of this story before and everytime I hear about, it never fails to open my eyes to what is really important in this world, that it’s not just about me but it’s all about us . A humbling post that touches the heart. Thank you. A blessed day to you.

  3. I just spent a week with women writers sequestered in a cabin, and we came to the conclusion that women are always giving acts of kindness and how wonderful it was to receive those small acts…to be mothered a bit. It helped fill up all the go, go, giving. Thanks for a great post. And I LOVE the moose.

    • Thank you Barb for reading. I am glad you liked it and I am glad you commented. As a writer, you know it means so much when others appreciate your efforts. I have heard from other women writers how much they gain from attending writer’s getaways. I hope you found it successful and rewarding.

      As for the moose. He is popular. I wrote about his popularity in “Famoose” as he is a local yard celebrity. I am glad you like it– though I won’t tell him because he already has a big enough ego 😉

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