Cheese – The Antidote to Cynicism?

“While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

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”.

The old man smiled, and said, “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 elderly observer commented, “but, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

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

The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1979)

You may well have heard this story before, and believe me I know this story is quite cheesy but sometimes I find that a bit of cheese is one of the things that chips away at my ever present cynicism!  And today is a cheesy day. A good day, because today I got to throw one of the Starfish back! I got to say “I made a difference for that one.”  What an immense honour to journey along with someone on the painful path of self discovery, to hear someone’s deepest darkest thoughts, thoughts they barely let themselves think, never mind tell another living soul! To see them come out the other side of misery and then to be with them as they step out into the unknown with more consciousness then they ever had before, I don’t think there is a better feeling in the world than this.


About amywriting

I love words. I love the way they sound, the meaning they have, the way that they are used. I love their power, their creativity and how descriptive and evocative they can be. Any chance that I get to be creative and use words well gets me very excited. I love poetry, song, art, music, photography, baking, creating, experimenting and laughing!

Posted on June 28, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. hi amy nicely put, as you know the story inspires us at school and has found it’s way onto our shiny new logo! i will ask your mum to send you the only thing i have ever written if that’s ok?,

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