~ Sasha Azevedo
I went to my son’s Back To School Night this evening. I’ve listened to the principal’s talk for so many years now. So don’t you think I can miss it? Isn’t it the same every year? However, I went. And I’m very glad I did because tonight our principal inspired me. She told the parents that our school’s new motto is:
“Are You MAD?”
which translates to:
“Are you ‘making a difference’ ?”
Then our principal told this story of “The Boy and the Starfish”:
A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.
As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water.
The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied, “I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. “But,” said the man, “You can’t possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t possibly make a difference.”
The boy looked down, frowning for a moment; then bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied,
“I made a huge difference to that one!”
(*Thank you to Dream Emporium for this version of the story.)
Well, she made a difference with me and I wanted to share the story with all of you.
How do we make a difference? You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to make a difference. Here are 25 Random Acts of Kindness that you can do… starting right now! Practice these ideas with your family. Make a promise to yourself to be MAD… Make A Difference.
1. Smile at five strangers.
2. Hold the door open for someone.
3. Help a neighbor with light yard work.
4. Let someone go in front of you in line.
5. Return a shopping cart.
6. Pick up trash in your neighborhood.
7. Say good morning to people.
8. Complain less.
9. Make someone laugh.
10. Be a positive person.
11. Compliment a friend.
12. Hand out popsicles at a park.
13. Carry around lollypops for crying kids at stores.
14. Put something nice in the mailbox for the mail man.
15. Say thank you to the bus driver.
16. Pay for the person behind you in a drive through or at the toll booth.
17. Tape quarters to the gumball machine.
18. Leave flowers or candy at someone’s door, ring the doorbell and run away.
19. Donate to the local food bank.
20. Make cookies for your teacher.
21. Hand out a $2 bill when you catch someone doing something nice. (We do this because someone did it for us.)
22. Put a gift card on someone’s windshield.
23. Bring a neighbor dinner.
24. Send a real letter to someone.
25. Leave kind notes on other people’s windshield.
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
~ Helen Keller
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