The Starfish Story:


A young girl was walking along a long stretch of sandy beach. And scattered out across it were thousands of starfish that had been washed up during a storm. As she reached each starfish, she would pick it up and throw it back into the ocean.

She had been doing this for a long time when a man walked up to her and tried to get her to understand:

“Little girl, why are you doing this?
Look at this long beach. You can’t save all these starfish even if you walk all day and all night. You can’t even begin to make a difference here.”

After a moment of reflection, the girl picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied:

“Well, I made a difference to that one.”

After thinking about what she had said, the man joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and many of the starfish were saved.

— Adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren C. Eiseley