Monday, November 5, 2007

Last Day

Today is Foundation Day here in Bacolod. Last of the 10 day holiday streak that began with local elections and continued through All Saints Day. I spent a portion of this time in Manila where we buried a kindly woman who helped me while I lived in Brooklyn. Lived an unremarkable life measured against today’s materialistic standards but my brothers and sisters appreciated her unfailing kindness and generosity. I was able to thank her before she slipped into a coma. Got me thinking, how this person who will be remembered by so few, was able to show me, at least plus a few others that human kindness no matter how small and soft, lives on and we must never be discouraged by the seeming endless task of restoring the world. Reminds me of the story of…..

…. the wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing, who had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.

So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?"The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean, past the breaking waves and said – "It made a difference for that one."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks Dr. Martin for a point well taken....every starfish is precious for that do all the aborted ones....and those untimely, unnecessary drying up in the beaches...