Starfish Moments By: Kristen Reynolds, Iota Tau Chapter, California State University - San Marcos
Since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of making a difference in the world. As I grew up I found myself questioning, “How much of a difference can I make?” What I found, through my favorite story, “The Starfish Story,” was that making a difference is much easier than we choose to believe.
The Starfish Story
“One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a girl picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the girl, he asked, “What are you doing?” The girl 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.” The man said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the girl bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, she said, “I made a difference for that one.”
From this story, I found that it is always possible to make a difference in the world, regardless of the size of that difference. And just like the little girl in the story, choosing to impact “one” soon became an integral part of my life. Many times, we make an impact on other people’s lives without ever knowing. As we share our passions, lead powerfully and send encouragement, we have the ability to leave a positive impression on individuals’ lives. I define these moments as “Starfish Moments.”
As I looked into my next move after graduation, I knew I wanted a job that had a greater purpose and that would give me the opportunity to be that little girl to many. It was not long before I decided that becoming a chapter consultant would allow me to impact women across the country. At each chapter I have visited, I hoped to make a lasting impression on just one chapter member, whether that was empowering her to become a better leader or challenging the status quo within her campus community. Soon I began to recognize that by inspiring one, it would impact many, as chapter leaders move to positive change within their chapters and campus communities.
Throughout my Alpha Chi Omega collegiate and consultant experience, there have been countless individuals, from my Iota Tau (California State University – San Marcos) chapter sisters, to my consultant sisters, to many advisors and mentors along the way who have made a difference for me. As I reflect on my first two months of being a chapter consultant, I never would have expected the lasting impact each chapter has left on me. Each chapter has taught me something new and has renewed the love that I have for Alpha Chi Omega and its mission. They have made me a better sister, a better Alpha Chi Omega and a better woman. I found that being an Alpha Chi Omega chapter consultant is not just a job where you clock in and out, but it is a purpose to enrich women’s lives, and they in return do the same for you. Many times, we forget to thank the people who have impacted our lives for the better. I thank all those people who “made that one difference” for me.
Today, I challenge you to reach out to the person or persons who have made a difference for you. They may have no idea of the impact they made on you along the way, and you may realize you have done the same for them.