Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Starfish Story

For the last two days I have seen this story pop up when I was on line.  As I reflected on the story of the starfish it seemed good to share it.

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
                                                     — Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley

For me this is a story of perseverance.   Perseverance against great odds and against the criticism of others is at the very heart of our lives.  The understanding that we hold in our hands the power to change a life, a mind, or a circumstance today – right now – is a powerful insight and motivator. The idealism of youth is a powerful force for leading change in the world. Often it is our youth who put into action values that we have instilled in them – but have failed to act on ourselves. We have seen this many times in our youth as they march for various causes and are willing to work for justice and solidarity.  May we have the courage to make a difference this day and every day.  

Pat Schfini, OSU

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