|Image courtesy of jacQuie.k via Creative Commons.|
"In his book, But Will the Planet Notice?, economist Gernot Wagner shares a parable humanitarians have heard many times. It’s the oft-told starfish story in which a pragmatic man tells a boy rescuing beached starfish by throwing them back into the sea that he can’t possibly make a difference given the thousands of starfish on the beach. As the boy throws a starfish back into the ocean, he responds to the pragmatist by saying, 'I made a difference for that one.'
This story is a reminder to all of us that in the face of great odds and much injustice, suffering and cruelty, doing something – anything – to help individuals does indeed make a difference. And yet, in the face of such daunting and pervasive problems as alarming rates of species extinction, global warming, a growing human population and all that this forebodes (even greater disparities between rich and poor, more people without access to clean water and enough food, depletion of resources, more pollution, etc.), and truly unimaginable cruelty and the killing of one trillion animals every year for food, it’s time for a better parable."
For a humane world,
Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach"
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