Saving Starfish

One morning, an old man was walking along a beach littered with stranded starfish. He stepped carefully, so as not to tread on any of the beautiful creatures.

Knowing they would die, he considered placing some back in the water. But there were thousands of starfish and the man knew he couldn’t save them all.

So he kept walking ~ and did nothing.

thousands of starfish

Eventually, he saw a little girl frantically throwing starfish after starfish into the sea.

Bemused, he asked what she was doing.

Without pausing, she replied

“I’m saving starfish. Will you help me?”

Gently he told her, “There are thousands of starfish on this beach. We can’t possibly save them all. You can’t even begin to make a difference!”

Not seeming to hear him, she bent down, picked up another starfish and tossed it into the ocean.

Calmly, she looked up and said,

“I made a difference to that one.”

~ Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley ~


  1. Kevin Hofmann

    I would like to be a part of the Adoption Talk link up and was wondering if that was possible. I am a transracial adult adoptee, speaker and author. I have written a book called, Growing Up Black In White and would love to lend my 2 cents.
    Thanks for your consideration and hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Jamie Nestrick (Post author)

      Hey Kevin!

      Great to hear from you. You are more than welcome to join the linkup. On any linkup page, just go to the bottom of the linkup and and click the blue “Add your link” button. Then just follow the instructions to add your link.

      You can get a copy of the schedule here.


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