While living in Canada I had the privilege of getting to life coach a special man named Victor. Now, Victor doesn’t have everything going on for him in life. He is about 50 now, but at a very young age he got Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It has debilitated a lot of his functional ability. It’s not a pleasant thing. One of the reasons I am sharing Victor’s story is that he has limitations because of his disease. You indeed may feel that you have limitations, also. If so, his story is for you.
Victor’s Story of Overcoming His Limitations
One of the things Victor shared with me at the very beginning of our time together was that he had an aspiration to write a story. One of the things about Victor which I am proud of is that as we regularly met and he talked about his aspiration to write that story.
Victor is an absolutely bright guy, but he sometimes repeats himself. In addition, Victor doesn’t have all the motor skills to type on a computer or write on paper. He needs to verbalize what he wants to say. So what we’ve done over the last couple of sessions is that we have written his story. It comes from the original story called “The Starfish.” Here is that story:
The Starfish Story
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning as he began his workday. Early one morning as he was walking down the beach along the shore, he found a vast amount of starfish on the sand, as far as he could see. The old man saw a figure from a distance moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed the figure was a young man. But he was not dancing at all. He was picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean. The old man went up to him, and he asked, “Young man, why are you throwing these starfish into the ocean? What difference could that make?” The young man replied, “Well if I don’t throw these starfish into the ocean they’re going to die.” The old man, still puzzled by what he was saying, said, “Young man, there’s miles and miles of shore and there’s thousands of starfish. What difference can you make?”
The young man bent over and picked up another starfish. He threw it into the ocean. He said,”I made a difference in that one.”
Victor had an inspiration with that story. He told me, “I want to add a second thought on that story.” He told me his idea. It wasn’t all formulated, and he didn’t have the computer skills to type it all out at that time. So what we did over the course of time is that I asked him questions and drew out the characters and I drew out the ideas, and we figured it out. So what can we learn from that? What we can learn is that sometimes we might feel limited, but that we can still reach out. We can say, “I have this idea. I have this aspiration. I have this dream.” Whatever it is, you can accomplish that goal in spite of the limitation that you have. This is Victor’s “second thought” on the “Starfish”:
Second Thoughts on the Starfish Story – by Victor Defehr
Once upon a time, two young men came to the ocean together at dawn. As they were throwing a Frisbee back and forth, they saw an old man. At first glance, it looked like he was dancing and greeting the sunrise. The old man was repeating motions as he would bend down and twirl and fling his arm out to the ocean. The young men stopped throwing their Frisbee to watch him because they didn’t know what he was doing.
The curiosity of the young men spurred them to walk closer to this older man to get a better look at what he was doing. They were inspired by the old man’s joyfulness as they now saw what he was doing. The old man was bending over, picking up starfish and joyfully throwing them back into the ocean. The young men approached the old man and asked “Old man, why are you doing this?”
The old man stopped what he was doing and told them:
Not so many years ago I was walking along this beach, and I saw a young man about the same age as both of you walking on a deserted beach just before dawn.” The old man exclaimed “I asked the young man why he spent so much energy doing what seemed to be a waste of time. You see the young man was throwing starfish into the ocean and I couldn’t figure out how that could make a difference.” The old man had the attention of his two young listeners as he continued “You see that young man knew that he could not make a difference by saving every starfish but he could make a difference and save some of them.”
The young men were interested in what the old man was saying, and they asked him “But why do you waste your time throwing these starfish back into the ocean for all these years.”
The old man calmly picked up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean as he continued “Every dawn since my encounter with that young man have I come down to this beach, and many people have seen what I do every morning. “ The old man smiled. “But today is a special day for me.”
The two boys looked at each other and nodded in agreement with each other and then turned to the old man. One of them said, “Two can make a bigger difference than one.” And the other said, “We will make a great difference together to all we can.” The old man had a hard time lifting his head, but when he did, he had a beam in his eyes as he smiled at the eager young men.
Just then one of the young men threw the Frisbee up on the shore and all three of them picked up Star Fish off the beach as they danced and joyfully threw them back into the ocean.
The next dawn the two young men came down to the same beach, but the old man was nowhere to be found. They both paused in silence for a few moments, and then slowly they both picked up a starfish and together they made a great difference to all they can.
So what can we learn from Victor’s story? What we can learn is that sometimes we might feel limited, but that we can still reach out. We can say, “I have this idea. I have this aspiration. I have this dream.” Whatever it is, you can accomplish that goal in spite of the limitation that you have.
Check out What I have to say about Victor and His story and I read his story here: (Watch from 48minutes to the end)
Listen to Victor share his own story here.
Quotes and Questions
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I am so proud of Victor. He wanted to leave a legacy, and he did. Although he was limited physically, he found a way to communicate his ideas for a story so that others could share them. I caught Victor’s vision because he wanted his story to be heard. So I helped him by writing it down. You too can find a way to overcome your own limitations. You just have to stay true to your passion so that it is contagious.