By Min Liu
Our staff has been uploading photos of the “ADDLINK Cross-Straight Summer Camp for Kids 2012” on Facebook. Looking at the photos brought me back in time to the six-day summer camp.
ADDLINK Education Foundation is doing “a starfish picking” job by organizing events like this. I am not sure if you have heard of the starfish picker’s story written in my book Rotation of Life, but let me tell the story again.
Along the Colorado coast, high tides wash up thousands of starfish. These starfish can die if left exposed to the blazing sun at low tide. An elder walked along the coast every day, picking up the starfish onshore and tossing them back into the ocean. Every day, he did this.
Some people laughed at the elder and thought he was an idiot. After all, the speed of him tossing the starfish back into the ocean could never be faster than the speed of them being washed up onshore. But the elder responded, “There will be one more hope as long as I bring one more starfish back into the ocean.” The saved starfish can reproduce and spawn more new starfish.
It is unfortunate that “quantification” is the major concern of many groups and individuals while organizing events nowadays. “Qualitative changes” are uneconomic and therefore rarely taken into consideration. Our Cross-Straight Summer Camp for Kids is an event that focuses on qualitative changes. Out of all the events of ADDLINK Education Foundation, it has the highest costs and involves the most personnel with tremendous effort for merely 16 children.
We would like to do this at any cost, because we expect of ourselves to be like the starfish picker. In fact, we really saw “changes” in the kids after the six-day camp. Some of them spoke up more; some of them looked more confident; and some of them started to smile…
The seed of hope was buried in the heart of these children and started to grow and germinate as the event ended.