Every now and then we come across stories that move us, inspire us and even guide us. Among the catalogue of tales, such gems are far and few between. Human beings are creatures that functions efficiently based on their elated emotional state. No matter how inherently metronomic an individual is, one requires on occasions a bit of pep talk for encouragement and achieving more out of life. Sometimes our motivation needs visions of success and rewards. Sometimes we just need a sense of perspective.
Copied here are two stories which continue to inspire people across the world, irrespective of their age and belief. One of the stories (Footsteps) was originally published in Reader’s Digest sometime in 1960’s.
Starfish (Author unknown)
It was calm morning after a stormy night. As the sun breaks through the clouds, an elderly man decides to take a stroll down the beach. The havoc wreaked by last night weather become apparent when noticed thousands of starfish washed up on the shore. As he walked along, in the distance he noticed a figure of a person who was leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the sea.
As he got closer, he noticed it was a boy, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one back into the water.
When he came close boy, he called out, “Good morning! May I ask what are you doing?”
The boy paused and replied “I am throwing these starfish back into the sea.”
The old man smiled, and enquired, “Can I ask why you are throwing starfish into the sea?”
To this, the boy replied, “The tide is going out and the sun is up. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the elderly man replied, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The boy listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the sea past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference to that one.”
The story highlights what the spirit of idealism can achieve and consolidates the saying, “if each does a little, We can do a lot”
Footsteps (Author unknown)
Deep in his sleep, one night a man has a dream. He dreams that he is in the company of a halo that embodies God and the two of them are walking along a pathway. He looks up at the horizon and is amazed to see all the scenes of his life painted across the sky. He sees his whole life flash by, but there is more. All along the journey of his life he finds two sets of footprints: one set for himself and another for God.
After all the scenes had flashed before him, he looks back at those footprints and notices something that troubles him. He observes that during the most difficult times in his life, there was only one set of footprints. This deeply upsets the man, so he turns to God and asks: “You said that you would always walk with me through thick and thin. In looking back, I see only my footprints during the most painful times of my life. Why did you abandon me? Why did you leave me when I needed you the most?”
God replied “I love you and never left. It was during those times when you suffered that I held you. Look again, those footprints aren’t yours. I carried you”
Please let us know through your comments about any other stories that you would like to add to this page.
Further reading: The geometry box