Friday, March 18, 2011

Reaching Out: The Starfish Story (Again)

Leny (photo by Beez)

It's been a horrifying and difficult week. We've all agonized over the situation in Japan and tried to imagine that we might be able to make a difference, one of us at a time (see Becky's Blog: For Japan). We were haunted by the plight of a suffering little donkey and wondered if there was a way to free him (there was, and it happened!). We observed Adopt the Internet Day (see Let's Hear It For the Underdog), which featured so many deserving animals hoping for a home with love and safety.

At times like this, it helps me to remember The Starfish Story told in a speech by President Obama. I posted it on this blog after a visit to a kill shelter where so many were in need, and I could help only one.  Here it is once again, offered in the hope that we might find some strength in its words:

The Starfish Story

An old man walking along the beach at dawn sees a young man picking up the star fish and throwing them out to sea. "Why are you doing that?" The old man inquired. The young man explained that the starfish had been stranded on the beach by a receding tide and would soon die in the daytime sun. "But the beach goes on for miles," the old man said. "And there's so many! How can your effort make any difference?" The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and without hesitating threw it to safety in the sea. He looked up at the old man, smiled and said, "It will make a difference to that one."


becky said...

Clair, I am familiar with this story. I love it. It helps I think, when we are feeling so overwhelmed & helpless at times on what we can do to help... whether it be for our fellow man, our four-legged friends, our for the planet we live on. We can only each do our small part, and hope, like in the starfish story, it makes a little difference along the way.
Bless you, Clair, for making that difference!

matron said...

I too feel so sorry for the people of Japan,but feel helpless as an individual.I can and will donate to charity funds,but otherwise there is little I can do but pray for them.

As for the animals in need,over the years we have adopted several dogs from the pound and rescue centers,they all became much loved pets that lived long and happy lives.
Like the starfish story,we can help one in need.
Have a good weekend.

Joyful said...

A beautiful story of the starfish. Bless you for your kind heart for Japan and for animals.

Danni said...

I hadn't heard the starfish story. But it's so very true. And it's important to spread that message whenever possible so people don't forget that the "small" actions really do make a difference. What is small to one person/animal isn't to another.

Linda said...

I didn't know about this story. A good reminder for us in these times.

Quiet Paths said...

Such an incredibly direct and beautiful parable. It is perfect for the last week. I don't doubt that feeling helpless is the most common emotion in face of such disaster. Thank you for your post and thanks for your thoughts on my post earlier. It makes sense...