This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Starfish

The story goes that, after a storm, two men walked along the shore near the ocean. Squawking seagulls circled overhead and dove into the debris near the receding tide. It was a mess.

One man reached down and threw an object into the water. Then another. Then another. The second man was puzzled.

"Why are you bothering with those starfish? You'll never be able to save them all."

"No," the first man replied. "I won't. But I make a difference for this one." He threw another starfish back into the wave. "And this one. And this one."


Overwhelming circumstances discourage our best efforts. This past week's destruction of the Jersey shore and New York City seems impossible. Over a hundred storm-related deaths from drowning, electricity, fires, and falling trees -- and we've all heard the wrenching stories of terrible loss. Two little boys ripped from their mother's arms during the storm, and the next day their bodies found not far from each other. Weeping people brought to shelters wearing only a T shirt, jeans, and socks, bearing stories of how everything -- everything -- is gone. No power, heat, food water, car, hotel rooms, for evening after evening as young families with babies shiver near flooded neighborhoods. Sparking wires. New York subways flooded. Six hour gas lines. Talk of passing out granola bars to visiting marathon runners while long-time residents dumpster dive for their next meal.

Overwhelming. And yet... less than a week later, truckloads of supplies are already being brought into the areas. Electricity is being restored. Clean-up has begun.

We want to help. And we do, little by little. Those on the scene do as they can to rescue people, clean out areas, feed people at shelters. Those at a distance, like utility workers from Alabama, come in to restore electricity; others bring in supplies or donate money to the people that do.

None of us can snap his fingers and immediately make things right; truly, things won't ever be the same again. However, although not perfectly lives and ground can be rebuilt, brick by brick. Mitt Romney said something profound a few days ago when speaking of the overwhelming nature of the damage -- MAKE THE DIFFERENCE YOU CAN.

A good principle, not just for those suffering from Hurricane Sandy, but for all of us, all the time. You can't help everyone, and you can't fix everything. But remember those starfish, and throw back as many of those you come across as you can. MAKE THE DIFFERENCE YOU CAN.

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