open quote     Each of you with your stories will light small candles. And who knows what flames take fire from your candle?    close quote  
Margaret Read MacDonald

It's In Your Hands

Students in a high school class who had been discussing environmental challenges said to their teacher, “It’s such a worldwide problem, what can we do about it?”

In response their teacher told them this old tale:

Once there was a wise old man who was said to give the right answer to any question anyone ever asked him, no matter how difficult. One day, several young people decided to test the old man.

“We're going to fool that old man, they said. “We'll catch a bird, and go to the old man, and say, 'This that we are holding, is it alive or is it dead?’ If he says 'Dead,' we'll turn it loose and let it fly, and if he says ‘Alive,’ we’ll crush it.”

So they caught a bird, and they carried it, hidden in their hands, to that old man and they asked him, “Is this that we are holding alive or dead?”

The wise old man looked at those young people a long while and then he smiled and he said, “It's in your hands.”

“As in the tale,” the teacher said, “The future of the environment is in your hands.”

A Tale for Earth Day

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