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The Starfish Story


I went to see a great play recently called 366 Days of Kindness. In it a woman tells the story of her quest to be kind to a stranger every day for a whole (leap year), which is not as easy as it sounds, At all. Anyway, in the face of the recession and the negative press, it seems like a good idea. If we all collectively do a little bit to help others, then just maybe kindness can change the world. The story below was mentioned during the play and I felt compelled to share it with you. It inspired me and I hope it inspires you.

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

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