The Power to Make a Difference

By Sarah Petty L. Ac., Dipl. Ac. on February 22nd, 2012

“Strolling along the edge of the sea, a man catches sight of a woman who appears to be engaged in a ritual dance. She stoops down, then straightens to her full height, casting her arm out in an arc. Drawing closer, he sees that the beach around her is littered with starfish, and she is throwing them one by one into the sea. He lightly mocks her: “There are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see, for miles up the beach. What difference can saving a few of them possibly make?” Smiling, she bends down and once more tosses a starfish out over the water, saying serenely, “It certainly makes a difference to this one.”

-Loren Eisley

There was a time when I was in college when I was very politically active. I was fueled by my passion to effect change on a global level! I even helped organize protests. But when I saw that our huge turnout of equally passionate supporters failed to create change for our particular cause at the time, I instantly felt deflated and packed up my picket sign and clever chants for good. I think this reaction to a seemingly defeat can happen to the best of us. But I wonder what repercussions “our giving up” have.

The other day, I was visiting a dear friend, Karen, who is in a rehabilitation center for her recent knee surgery. We were out in the hall, and I hear a sound like a guiro or a ratchet. Karen tells me it is coming from this poor woman in a wheel chair who grinds her teeth when she is in a lot of pain! We seek help from the nurses who are constantly migrating around her, ignoring the sound that had me clenching my own teeth. One said she has worked with her before-that she already received her pain meds and that she was not the nurse assigned to her today. The nurse walked off to find the poor woman’s nurse. Karen started talking sweetly to this woman as she lightly stroked her arms and upper back. The woman seemed to be appreciative as she leaned forward so Karen could reach more of her back. At this point I saw the unbelievable curvature of this poor woman’s spine! I joined in on rubbing her back and talking sweetly to her. There were a few breaks in what was a relentless grinding while we were with her. She does not speak, but I sensed our presence gave her something meaningful-comfort, relief, companionship. When all others had given up on helping this woman, Karen stepped up- and I say, she made a difference.

How will you reach out and make a difference today?

Stay tuned! Next week I’ll be talking about the energetics of food and how you can make sure you are eating foods that are particularly healthy for you!

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