08 July 2007

The Star Thrower

This story has been brought to my attention several times in the last couple of days, and it is one that really hits me close to home... I hope you enjoy it as much as I have:

The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley

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, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."


CamiKaos said...

I've heard that story so many times, and always love it...

when I was little I used to throw star fish back in the ocean too.


Bubblewench said...

never heard that before. Totally awesome.

Mum2Angus_n_Molly said...

I've never heard that story before, but I love it!

The things you do may not matter to everyone, but they do matter to someone.

Anonymous said...

I love this story. I have heard it many times and it touches my heart every time. My 3 year old has started tossing shells back into the ocean and encouraging the little hermit crabs to go back in the water. :-) What a blessing.
I had to click on you because I loved the name: 'Ruffles and Ridges' Too Cute!