The Purpose of Life is to Matter

The Purpose of Life is to Matter

The Purpose of Life Is To Matter; To Count; To Stand for something; To Have It Make Some Difference That We Lived At All……Leo Rosten

I want to share with you a story written by Loren Eiseley. It is called The StarFish Thrower

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to walk along the beach and enjoy the waves crashing upon the rocks. Early one morning he was walking along the shore by himself. As he looked down the deserted beach, he saw a human figure in the distance. As he got closer to the stranger, he saw that it was a young teenage boy. The boy was reaching down to the sand, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As the old man got closer, he yelled out, “Good morning, young fellow. What are you doing?”

The teenager paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish back in the ocean.”

“Why on earth are you doing that?” asked the old man.

The boy replied, “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”

The old man looked at the teenager in disbelief and said, “But the beach goes on for miles and miles and there are starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference.”

The young boy listened politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.” And then the very wise young boy continued on his way down the beach, bending down and throwing starfish after starfish back into the ocean.

Whenever you feel like you are up against tremendous odds and that your efforts are hopeless in the larger scheme of things, think about The Starfish Thrower.

We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference. It is just like Leo Rosten stated: “The purpose of life is to matter; to count; to stand for something; to have it make some difference that we lived at all”.

It is my personal belief that there is something very special in each and every one of us. It is also my belief that it is our responsibility as human beings to reach out to the people who come into our lives and make a difference by sharing those special gifts. And the wonderful thing is that we can all accomplish this with very little effort.

You may not be able to change the world, and you may not be able to make a difference to everyone, but you certainly can make a difference to most of the people you meet.

The young boy in the story understood this very important meaning of life. He represents all young persons who have the courage to experience all there is to encounter along their journey of life. They are not afraid to reach out and try new things.

The old man in the story had become sceptical from his experiences with others. He had adopted the philosophy that if he cannot change the world, there is no use in even trying. He would sit back and do nothing to save the starfish. That seems to be the attitude of most people today.

What you need to learn from the young boy on the beach is that even if the odds are against you and it seems as if there is little you can do, what little you can get done will definitely make some difference.  It doesn’t matter how long your journey may be, you can still only get there one step at a time.

Don’t miss out on a golden opportunity to make it a real difference that you have lived at all. Live your life to the fullest and be the best you can be.


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