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THE POWER OF ONE

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, “It made a difference for that one.”


The Star Thrower © 1979
Loren Eiseley

We all know the adage: There is strength in numbers. One raindrop does nothing; a collection of millions can easily cause a flood.  One bee at a picnic is a nuisance: a whole swarm means trouble.
But after yesterday’s APS Selfless Senior presentation at Volcano Vista High School, I am convinced, more than ever, in the

Power Of ONE. 

For sixty heartwarming minutes, I watched as 26 Albuquerque Students received their Selfless Senior awards. Their stories were as different as the students themselves, yet their desire to succeed the same. There was no way to sit through this presentation and not leave changed. From volunteering in their communities to bettering their lives and the lives of others, these Selfless Seniors do the “right thing” because it is the “right thing” to do, without thought to accolades or praise. The Selfless Senior Program started for exactly that reason; to acknowledge those whose good deeds have never received the attention they deserve. 
I think Katey Redmond from La Cueva High School summed it up perfectly when she said that none of the Selfless Seniors do what they do for public recognition, but she’s not gonna lie…it feels great.