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Why I throw starfish
Fri 3-Sep-10
12:35 am
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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Hello all,

Many of you probably saw my rant about people dumping their pets when times get tough.

Just a quick recap, there was a cat living behind the hotel I was staying at. She was living off of guest hand-outs and dumpster diving. I tried to take her to a local shelter, but they were all full. So, I brought her home, hoping to place her with a family up here where I live. 

Dan told one of his friends about me bringing home "Ceres" (yes I named her, but I'm not keeping her!) and his reply was "Why is she doing that? Why is that cat her problem?".

Well, this is why its my problem......

 

The Starfish Story

adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley
1907 - 1977

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.

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, "I made a difference to that one!"

 
So, who else "throws starfish", tilts at windmills, or drives a cat 600 miles to find it a home?

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Fri 3-Sep-10
7:19 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Me! I work on that principle too. I can't change the world but I can make a difference where I am cheers

Fri 3-Sep-10
10:12 am
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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What a wonderful story Michelle and a true testament to those who do make a small difference to our beautiful world.  If only everyone thought the same.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Fri 3-Sep-10
11:22 am
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brightspark
Wilts

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Michelle, that's a lovely story - and it is my philosophy too, and why I continue to feed the birds and other creatures that I find around me.

You've probably read this before, but it moved me when I first read it:

How™s your parachute?

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam.

After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now gives lectures on lessons he learned from that.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, œYou™re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!

œHow in the world did you know that? asked Plumb.

œI packed your parachute, the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude.

The man shook hands and said, œI guess it worked!

Plumb assured him, œIt sure did. If your chute hadn™t worked, I wouldn™t be here today.

Plumb couldn™t sleep that night, thinking about that man. œI kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform; a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ˜Good morning, how are you?™ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, each time holding in his hands the fate of someone he didn™t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audiences, œWho™s packing your parachute?

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.

Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory " he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to then, to give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.

As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachute.

I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in packing my parachute! And I hope that you will send it on to those who have helped pack yours!

Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word, so maybe this could explain: When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do? - you forward jokes! And to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still cared-for, and what do you get? - a forwarded joke.

So, my friends, next time if you get a joke, don™t think it has been sent just as another forwarded joke, but that you™ve been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile.

brightsparklystuff

 

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Fri 3-Sep-10
11:45 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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I'm a starfish thrower too Michelle. waveA rescuer of worms on tarmac paths. A let-er out of trapped bees and butterflies. Its why I have rooks in my aviary and a jackdaw and a gull in my front room and hedgehogs in my livingroom. In the grand scheme of things my actions are less than a speck of dust in the universe. But to the individual creature, it matters. And it matters to me that I didn't turn away when I could have done something, whether for an animal or a human.

If you watch the news it seems our world is full of hurt and I can't change that. I can only do what I can in my small corner, caring for family and friends, and hope that those around me do the same.  I like the parachute story Brightspark, its set me thinking about my own parachutes. Food for thought, thanks. smile

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Sat 4-Sep-10
6:37 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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I think it also should encourage all parachute packers everywhere, thanks for the job you do. cheers

Sat 4-Sep-10
3:46 pm
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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Yes, me to i allways pick up snails from the path,worms ect and if they are realy lucky a won,t eat them.

Sat 4-Sep-10
5:40 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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I am a rescuer of tiny things too. Spiders from the bathtub, bumble bees from a spider's web (yes!). When I paint our metal roadside gate I brush it carefully first to encourage the spiders to escape. Midges from my whisky. Intervening to prevent genocide of ant nests. F thinks I am nuts.

There is a minor debate on her blog post about trapping mice in a humane trap and releasing them outdoors. Some say it would be more humane to kill them. Perhaps. But we think better they have a fighting chance, maybe find a new home in a barn or stable - or at worst ending up as prey for an owl - than being tossed in the thrash and ending up in landfill.

Never knowingly underfed

Sat 4-Sep-10
11:41 pm
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KateUK
uk

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Danny I release them into the wild with some hay and peanuts to keep them going.

Bonkers?

Moi?

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Sat 4-Sep-10
11:55 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Oi, bonkers moi - do you tie a tiny nosebag around their necks, filled with the hay and peanuts?

 

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 5-Sep-10
12:27 am
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brightspark
Wilts

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When we were on holiday once, we saw movement in the swimming pool very early, and discovered a hedgehog swimming desperately to find a way out! We caught him with the skimming net, and put him in a comfy box with some food for the day to help him recover, before releasing him up the road.

I didn't have a nosebag, though, otherwise I might ......  big_laugh  big_laugh

It's what we do .... ok

brightsparklystuff

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Sun 5-Sep-10
11:54 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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Danny said:

I am a rescuer of tiny things too...

... Midges from my whisky.


 A rescue accompanied by the words "spit it out you b*st*rd!" ??

wink

Sun 5-Sep-10
11:58 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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Is there an LOL that is big enough for your response Shereen?

big_laughbig_laughbig_laughbig_laughbig_laugh

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Mon 6-Sep-10
1:06 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Best laugh of the month so far, Shereen! big_laugh

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 6-Sep-10
1:17 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Has me giggling too...

I'll try that again!

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