Making a difference
Each and every day as we go about a daily life with have the ability to make a difference to someone’s life; it’s never the big things. It’s not the things we can go down the shop and buy. These are the things that money can’t buy, they are precious intangible things that we all want and crave for: the kind gesture, opening a door for someone, giving up your seat on the bus or train, giving to the homeless person instead of walking on by, saying thank you, calling a friend to say “Hi how’s your day going” instead of some random text message that lacks empathy and connection.
Many people have already heard the story of the starfish on the beach, but it bears repeating here because it illustrates the essence of co-active coaching and what it means to be a coach.
Early one morning a man was walking along the beach, watching the ocean waves breaking on the shore, and he saw a most unusual thing. He saw that the beech was littered with thousands of starfish that had washed up on the shore and were dying in the sun.
Far down the beech in the distance, he could see a young woman picking up starfish and throwing them back in the ocean, one at a time. When he was close enough to her to be heard above the waves the man said, “you’re wasting your time. There are thousands of starfish here. You can’t possibly make any difference.”
The young women reached down, picked up a starfish, and threw it as far as she could, back into the sea. “I made a difference to that one,” she said, and reached down a picked another, and another.