• The Star Thrower

    Article by Ey@el

    Original en français

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    The story below is part of a 16-page essay of the same name by American anthropologist Loren Eiseley (1907–1977), published in 1969 in The Unexpected Universe. The moral is that even though no man alone can save the world, through small acts of compassion, anyone can still help change the whole life of other sentient beings.

    Since the middle of the eighties, this parabale has been retold and adapted by many motivational speakers and on the internet, often without attribution and differents characters, though in the same spirit. The latest adaptation is a children's story entitled "Sara and The Starfish" that was published in 2006.

    Once, on ancient Earth, there was a human boy walking along a beach. There had just been a storm, and starfish had been scattered along the sands. The boy knew the fish would die, so he began to fling the fish to the sea. But every time he threw a starfish, another would wash ashore. An old Earth man happened along and saw what the child was doing. He called out: “Boy, what are you doing?”
    “Saving the starfish!” replied the boy.
    “But your attempts are useless, child! Every time you save one, another one returns, often the same one! You can't save them all, so why bother trying? Why does it matter, anyway?” called the old man.
    The boy thought about this for a while, a starfish in his hand; he answered: “Well, it matters to this one.” And then he flung the starfish into the welcoming sea.

    Excerpt from "The Star Thrower", Loren Eiseley (1969)

    Ey@el

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