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As we enter Thanksgiving week, let me share a special story with you.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw someone moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself thinking of one who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" Came the reply, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. "I made a difference for that one!"

What that young manโ€™s actions represent is the something that is special in each and every one of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference. We have to be aware of that gift. And that is your challenge. And that is my challenge. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, I have no doubt that our Oregon Coast, will have a wonderful future.

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Timm Slater is executive director of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information on your Chamber, email us at timmslater@oregonsbayarea.org.

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