Alternative Living Solutions


"The StarThrower"

Original by Loren Eiseley 1978
Edited by JPB/DSB 5-3-07

As a young lady at the ocean shore, I saw a silver-haired
woman dancing oddly on the beach just
before sunrise.  She would bend, and twist, and lunge
as she pranced to the thunderous surf as if it were
some kind of imaginary drum. 
When I got closer, I noticed that she was picking things up
and throwing them into the sea.  I approached her
silently, not wanting to disturb her sacred dance.  I
watched intently as she stooped to hold one of the many
starfish that had washed in with the tide. 
She then moved gracefully as she tossed the sand bound
creature back to the sea.  I moved cautiously closer, and I
asked the woman,  "Why the effort?" of giving so few
another chance.  What did it matter because there were
so many more starfish than she could handle. 
She looked directly at me, the reflection of the ocean, the
rising sun, and me in her deep, yet bright brown eyes.
She smiled and spoke with a soft, yet powerful reserve,
"It matters to this one.", and she ceremoniously gave
the starfish back to the sea.
The work we do as counselors is similar
in that, of the number of youth who wash up onto
society’s shores, a small percentage of those youth need
our special care.
And it is upon us, the StarThrowers, who can mean
something special to those students we impact in our programs.
Let it be your commitment to the youth and to your colleagues,
that we teach one another how to be StarThrowers in our careers.
The story above evolved many years ago, and I am still
the StarThrower I discovered that fateful day.  I have had
the chance to dance with other fine StarThrowers since.
There is a StarThrower in all of us when we enter
the helping profession.  So prepare to join
in the dance with other great StarThrowers at ALS.

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