I think of the story of the starfish and the boy very often. One day, a tidal wave swept thousands of starfish on to the beach. As the sun rose, the starfish started to die in the heat. There was a small boy on the beach, who was working. He would pick up a starfish, toss it into the sea as hard as he could, and then move on to the next. The hot sun was getting to him too, but he wouldn’t rest.
An old man saw what the boy was doing, nodded his head, and walked up to the boy. He placed a tender hand on the boy’s shoulder and said, “Son.. look around you. There are thousands of them. How many can you help? It won’t make a difference! Go home, get some water.”
The boy looked at the old man, then turned around, picked up another starfish, and tossed it into the sea as hard as he could. Then, very quietly, he said to the old man, “It made a difference to THAT one.”
I think of that story very much. At esha, i often wonder whether our efforts are too small, whether we are doing enough to make a difference at all. Then i think of the faces of those children as they listened to their mp3 players, and the absolute achievement on their faces as they did multiplication by 5 and 11 in 3 seconds flat, after listening to the audio lesson exactly ONCE.. i think of that image in head.. and say quietly, “It made a difference to THAT one.”
Then i think of the people who go through Nautanki inc (the theater workshop), the sense of realisation on their faces as they as they promise to be more sensitive to those not as lucky as them.. i think of every one of these faces, and realise, “It made a difference to THAT one.”
Image Courtesy: Friend of Esha – Eklevaya, who has very generously allowed us the use of all his professional images for Esha. Thank you!