The Kindness of a Stranger – A Charleston Starfish Story

By, Minta Pavliscsak

The day started out as any other day; the sun had just peaked over the horizon and my tummy was starting to rumble. I was carelessly bobbing along with the current in search for some breakfast reaching out to cling onto any rock I may float by that happened to have a clam or mollusk attached to it. I wasn’t having much luck today though.

Then I spied a delicious looking cluster of oysters just off to my right and I tried with all my might to maneuver myself towards it. Alas, the gravity of the incoming tide was too strong for me and it pushed me right past. I wasn’t worried, not yet anyway. This happens often enough, but the ocean is vast and there are plenty of opportunities for a tiny starfish like me to find breakfast. Only today, today was different. Today I just kept floating.

Soon I found myself crawling along the bottom of the ocean with the top of the water descending closer and closer to me. I lost control of my movements as the waves took over my direction. It wasn’t long before I was on the beach under a large wooden pillar structure.

As I crawled on the wet sand, I could hear the sound of dogs barking and feel the footsteps of many people passing by. I tried calling out to them for help, but given that our mouths are underneath us, starfish can’t project very well.?Keeping as calm as I could, I began to work my way back towards where I thought I would find the comfort of the ocean. After some time, this seemed to be in vain. I began to wonder if I would ever get back home. Had I known last night’s meal was my last, I would have made it a much nicer one. I would have called my parents and told them I loved them. Do my friends know how much they mean to me? Was I nice enough to strangers I had met along my path? As these thoughts passed through my head and I thought surely this was the end for me, I was scooped up by a warm, gentle hand.

I had no clue what to expect next. I was frozen in fear as I was carried around and put on display for another human being. Suddenly, I was joined by another, smaller starfish. Not knowing what else to do, I began trying to crawl away. Of all things, the human started to laugh! This had to be a good sign, so I moved all my legs with all my might. I heard even more laughing as I could see that my new friend and I were being carried towards the ocean. The next thing I knew, my friend and I were flying through the air, twirling around and around, and splash! We landed gratefully in the ocean. We exchanged Twitter handles and promised to stay in contact through Facebook, then said our goodbyes. As I swam home, completely forgetting about breakfast, I called my parents as updated my status to “thankful”. I will never forget about that kind human on the beach. Sometimes it takes almost losing it all to realize just how much you really do have.

What The Walking Dead Teaches Us About Life

By Minta Pavliscsak
By Minta Pavliscsak

Whether you love or hate the show, you can not deny the overwhelming success The Walking Dead (TWD) has gained throughout its over six year television run. Awards and nominations aside, it is the surmountable admiration that comes from the fans that proves The Walking Dead’s true success. As it enters the second half of season six, I began to reflect over past seasons and characters, who have really become more like friends. This led to something deeper than the ability to tap into one’s survival instinct, and muster up the courage to thrust a fork through a rotten corpses head; a true perspective on life.

I give to you my list of “What The Walking Dead Teaches us About Life”. To those who think this is just another silly zombie show, I challenge you to read this list, and give the show a few episodes. Honestly, it took about three, maybe four before I was hooked.

What The Walking Dead Teaches us About Life

  • The importance of family and friends.
  • Do whatever you have to do to make it another day, or as Enid so perfectly puts it, “JSS: Just Survive Somehow”.
  • Sometimes you just have to stop and look at the flowers. (This doesn’t always have to have a tragic ending. It just shows that everyone, no matter how bad their reality, needs an escape from time to time.)
  • Life is better when you spend it with others. Bob’s ever smiling face is a reminder of this.
  • You keep going because you have to.
  • Recycling is important. Anything, when used properly, can be a weapon and used to protect you. Shelter can fall under those same lines.
  • We don’t leave our friends behind.
  • Try new things.
  • Be stronger than your own fear.
  • We need each other.
  • If you have the opportunity to start over, take it. Make yourself that person you have always wanted to be. Why not? Nobody has to know about your past, what matters is the present.
  • There is still good left in the world.
  • Things aren’t always what they seem. This can go for both good and not so good. Keep your eyes open.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Don’t take the little things for granted. Sometimes it’s these little things that keep us going.
  • Helping others also helps ourselves.
  • No matter how insignificant you think you are, you matter.
  • Care about yourself and take care of yourself, because you are needed out there.
  • There is no time like the present. After all, you never know if you will make it through the night. Make the most of right now.
  • Sometimes you just have to go for it. Regardless of what “it” is, there may come a time when you don’t have time.
  • Believe in something.
  • Good or lucky, it doesn’t really matter.
  • You honor the dead by going on.
  • Sometimes you have to pretend to be brave.
  • We need to work together to stay alive.
  • Perhaps the most important thing The Walking Dead teaches us about life…When life gives you zombies, always go for the brain.

There you have it. If you remember these life lessons, not only will you be prepared for a post-apocalyptic world, but for the world you are living in today. Keep your loved ones close, appreciate every moment you are allowed to have, and let your truly bad-ass self shine through and you can overcome anything thrown your way.