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Happiness Exercise #3: Small Differences Matter

Have you heard the classic story of the boy saving the starfish at the water's edge? It's worth another read even if it's familiar!

One day, a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. The man approached the boy and asked, "What are you doing?" The boy replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die." "Son," the man said, "There are miles of beach and hundreds of starfish. You can't make a difference." After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the water. Then, smiling at the man, he said, "I made a difference for that one." This beautiful story illustrates the poignant fact that even our smallest efforts can have a big impact. We don't need to make the grandest gesture or move every mountain to make a difference. Sometimes, all someone needs is a hug to feel better or a kind word to know she's appreciated. And sometimes, those small loving shares can change someone's life. Small gestures, big love! Tiny, meaningful action also holds enormous potential. Your effort may be just the ripple the sea needs to turn itself into a tidal wave. Let's see how this ripple effect just might look: Let's say you pick up a plastic bottle (that you didn't drop) at a park and toss it into the recycling bin. Maybe another parent - or a child - sees you and does the same thing. Then maybe she begins to notice how many bottles have been left all over the park & decides to start a recycling event to clean up the area and help save our planet. In just one small action, the possibility exists to spark something grander! IN EVERY CASE, YOUR ACTION MAKES A DIFFERENCE - EVEN IF YOUR GOOD DOES NOTHING ELSE BUT ADD MORE GOOD TO THE WORLD. So go make a difference! Do one small, good thing today that you wouldn't have normally done. Recycle a bottle. Offer a compliment. Open the door for someone. Spread goodness. If everyone did just one extra, kind thing each day, there would be one more beautiful bubble of sweetness - for you, your family, your community, our world. Smile when you do it and let that good feeling infect you. Small differences have the potential to have tremendous impact - especially inside your heart - just ask the boy who saved the starfish. Happiness Tip: Try to do a little-extra-something-good each day and know that you are making our world a better place - and that you may have sparked something grander without even realizing! Make sure to smile when you do it! It'll make a world of difference in how you see the world around you! Have the best day!

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