The Starfish Principle

Posted on March 9, 2018

The Starfish Principle is something that I have been employing for some years now.  I cannot remember the first time I heard the story nor where I heard it.  I am not sure of the originator or how close my version is to the original, and so, as I relay it, I ask for the forgiveness and understanding of the originator wherever they may be.

“There was a man who, living by the sea, enjoyed walking his dog on the shoreline most days.

One day, after a great storm, the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining.  He set off down the lane to the shore, and as he got to the sand and rock shoreline, he let his dog off the lead to go and wander and sniff.

The storm has washed a great many, possibly thousands of starfish onto the sand and rocks and they were starting to dry in the warm sun.

As he walked, he saw a little girl walking along the water line and picking up a starfish at a time, and taking to the water, throwing it back in deep enough for it to survive.

He wondered at the pointlessness of it.

“Little girl!” He shouted, “you might as well stop it, because you won’t make a difference.”

The little girl paused, momentarily, with another starfish in her hand.  She held it up to show him and said:

“To this one, I am making a big difference.””

I am committed to the smooth transition of our service leavers, and further to the ongoing support of those who have served.

The motto of ExForcesNet is Lifelong-Mutual-Support for a reason.  I get a real kick out of supporting people, and hearing of their small victories through something in which I have had a hand is prize enough for me.  There are a great many veterans support groups doing similar work, and each providing people with that difference.  As a community, we can multiply this effort, and start to deliver a huge difference to many more.

However, I have noted on this journey that there are many out there doing this, not with the prime intent of delivering value, but with an intent for self-promotion and publicity.  Where the intent is not true and with integrity, it makes for a competitive environment, and competitive environments build walls and not bridges.  Where there are walls, then things are not open to plain view, and people that need specialist support do not get the collective value.

Our veterans deserve the collective value.  Can you help?  Start saving those starfish!


At what point should you start the Resettlement Process?

  • More than 2 years before you depart? (40%, 6 Votes)
  • 2 years before departure? (33%, 5 Votes)
  • Around 6 months before last day? (13%, 2 Votes)
  • 12 Months prior to departure? (13%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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