How a Starfish Story Inspired Me

How a Starfish Story Inspired Me

The Power of One and The Starfish Story

I remember the once president of the British Paediatric Society explaining why a starfish was part of a campaign logo. He told the story of a man walking along the beach and seeing hundreds, if not thousands, of starfish stranded above the high tide mark.

This man saw another man picking up starfish and throwing them back into the sea. The first man asked the second why he would bother doing that as there were just so many starfish it would be impossible to save them all and so was a futile task. The second man replied ‘but it isn’t futile to this starfish’ as he tossed another starfish to safety in the sea.

My story of the power of one

When I returned home after working in Ethiopia during the 1984/85 famine, I was often asked if I thought I had made a difference.

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When I met Mother Teresa

When I met Mother Teresa

It was February 1985 when I first arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There was a humanitarian crisis with famine as a result of drought in a war torn land.

There were so many firsts for me when I arrived to work in a famine relief shelter in Mekele, Tigre , which was one of the worst affected areas.

It was my first time:

  • in Africa
  • living in a military dictatorship
  • living in a Marxist state
  • seeing poverty in the extreme
  • experiencing the desperation and hopelessness of people displaced by war and famine
  • being overwhelmed by the resilience of the human spirit
  • meeting a future saint
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