Monday, August 14, 2006

A Single Starfish

(This is a collection of my experiences from training. Start at the beginning for more information.)

Back from training, have lots to say, as you can imagine, but we'll first start with a story.

On one certain sporadic peregrination across the residential hall complex when I got back, I happened upon a small handful of papers, all spanning the color spectrum from roy through gbiv, and all settled gently and slightly in disarray on a folding chair inside a lounge. No one was nearby, and the multitude of hues and shades naturally interested me, so I furtively snuck in and stole a glance. On each paper was a copy of the story, "A Single Starfish" by Loren Eiseley, and it was entirely fitting for the occasion and the mood I was in upon arriving back in Berkeley, so I thought I'd post it here:

One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives.

The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach's dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.

Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the child, "What are you doing?"

"I'm saving the starfish," the child replied.

"Why waste your time?... There are so many you can't save them all so what does it matter?" argued the man.

Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water.... "It matters to this one," the child explained.

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