Tahoe Humane Society: You can make a difference this year
January 5, 2017
I like to start every year with this story. It is simple yet meaningful and will hopefully remind everyone that you can make a difference.
When I'm having a bad day, feeling like what we do at the Lake Tahoe Humane Society doesn't make a difference or just isn't enough, I read this story and it reminds me that as long as we keep trying and never give up, we are making a difference. If you have not read this short story, read it now and hopefully it will inspire you. If you have read it before, read it again and get reminded of how much of a difference you can make.
By Loren Eiseley
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
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As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
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."
"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.
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 wise man commented: "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean.
As it met the water, he said: "It made a difference for that one."
Hopeful Henry is a column managed by Niki Congero, executive director of Lake Tahoe Humane Society & S.P.C.A. Need some pet advice? Ask Hopeful Henry. Submit questions or letters via e-mail to AskHenry@LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. Visit Facebook.com/LakeTahoeHumaneSocietySPCA, Facebook.com/Hopeful.Henry or Twitter.com/LtHumaneSociety.