I don't know if this is exactly how the story goes, but this is how my mother used to tell it to me and this is how I remember it…
One morning, a young woman went for a walk on the beach. The tide was low, and the night's storms had washed thousands of starfish ashore. As she walked, she noticed an old woman ahead of her in the distance. Every few steps, the old woman reached down, picking a starfish up in her hand and tossing it back into the water, just past the breaking waves. As the young woman got closer, she could see how the old woman strained every time she reached down. She see could see how the edges of the starfish were beginning to turn brittle and brown in the early morning sun. Feeling sad for the old woman's effort, she called out to her, "There's no way you can save them all!" The old woman took another step forward without looking back. She reached down, picking another starfish up in her hand, and the young woman thought she mustn't have heard her over the sound of the waves. But then the old woman turned around, and before tossing the starfish back into the water, she said to the young woman, "I can save this one."
In the past week, as we feel the reverberations of hate and fear spreading throughout our communities, I've been thinking about how easy it is to feel overwhelmed by the thousands washed ashore. But I've also been thinking about how sometimes, the best thing we can do is reach out for one. So this weekend, I encourage us all to turn away from the news and reach out to those closest to us. Let's offer each other a hand.