I’ve got a helper’s soul in my heart.

I like to help people.

I don’t think I’m that different from other people.

Most people like to help others.

We like to help our loved ones.

We like to be of service to others.

Until we give too much of ourselves.

There comes a time when we’ve given too much.

We neglect our needs in our desires to help others.

This reminds me of the following story.

An old man was doing his daily walk along the beach one morning, when he spotted a young boy crouched by the water, scooping something up from the sand and throwing it into the sea.

The beach was normally empty at this time of day, and so the old man stopped to watch for a while.

He noticed that the boy kept on shuffling a little further down the beach, then repeating this same action again and again – stopping, scooping, throwing, moving.

“What are you doing there, boy?” the old man asked, walking closer.

“I’m saving these starfish that are stranded” replied the boy, “if they stay on the beach they will dry out and die, so I’m putting them back into the ocean so they can live.”

The old man was silent for a few seconds.

“Young man” he said, “on this stretch of beach alone, there must be more than one hundred stranded starfish. Around the next corner, there must be at least one thousand more. This goes on for miles and miles and miles – I’ve done this walk every day for 10 years, and it’s always the same. There must be millions of stranded starfish! I hate to say it, but you’ll never make a difference.”

The boy replied “well I just made a difference for that one”, and continued with his work.

There are a lot of people that need help right now.

In many regards I’ve felt much like that young boy who is giving it all to get all the starfish back into the sea.

I know I can help…

But I’m only one person.

I’d like to do more….

But I’m only one person.

There still remains one person that I have to take care of.

I must still care for myself.

If I don’t care for myself, nobody will care for me.

Then I will become as one of those starfish that needs to be thrown back into the sea.

I have to take care of me for you so that you don’t need to care for me.

I look at so many business owners that throw their lives into their businesses.

They are providers.

They have people that depend on them.

But if they don’t take care of themselves, they won’t be able to take care of those they’ve chosen to serve.

First take care of yourself before you take care of others.

There’s a reason why someone wise once said to make sure you have your own house in order.

When you come to the end of this week take some time for yourself so that you can serve more people next week.

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