Category Archives: ideals

Starfish and Ideals

As this launch of Here I Raise My Ebenezer was coming close, it struck me that the old story of the Starfish Thrower would serve as an excellent metaphor for what this site is about. I can’t tell you how many years ago (probably decades) it was that I first heard this story but it immediately and deeply touched my heart. It still does, anytime I think of it. If you’re not familiar with the Starfish Thrower Story, here is a brief version:

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!”

Often, when I’m confronted with the daily news, I have that same sense expressed by the man on the beach when he 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!” Today, we hear of so many things going so much in the wrong direction in our world that when we wish there was something we could do about it, it seems overwhelming. But, the little girl in the story responded in the right way, the way we should be responding to the issues facing us, when she just diligently went back to the work that could be done immediately before her, saying, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

The About page of this site says, “The aim of this site is to serve as a platform for presenting views that support America’s founding ideals, rooted in Judeo-Christian values, relative to issues impacting our community today.” Hopefully, you’ll find it obvious why I said that the story of the Starfish Thrower serves as an excellent metaphor here. We don’t expect that Here I Raise My Ebenezer will cause an immediate 180 degree turn in the devolution of our society but issue-by-issue, as the little girl in the story did starfish-by-starfish, we hope to bring healing to ills weakening our community’s foundation.

The role of our Writers is to speak up on these issues, to inform and to encourage constructive action. As Editor, on behalf of our Writers, I want to thank you for joining them here, to gain from their writing and to learn what you can do to end up being able to say, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

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Filed under community, Culture, ideals, Making a Difference, society, values