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.
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 ~