The Starfish Story

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up and throw it gently back into the sea.

She had been doing this for some time when an old man approached her and asked, “Why are you doing this? Look at this beach, you can’t save all of them! What difference would it make?”

After a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the sea. Then she looked at the old man and replied, “It made a difference for that one!”

The old man looked at the young girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea.

-- Adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren C. Eiseley