Starfish Story

This is a well-known story, but whether you are familiar with it or not, here’s a lovely reminder:

A huge storm had blown through the seaside town, and the water had risen high and thrown huge amounts of debris – seaweed, sticks, and thousands upon thousands on starfish onto the sand.

They were far out of the the water and as the sun started to come up, it was clear that they were drying out and would die. Another tide would not come up to fetch them back into the ocean in time.

A old gentleman was taking his customary dawn walk along the beach, when he saw in the distance a young woman walking, picking something up, throwing it into the sea, walking on, picking something up and again throwing it into the sea.

He was making faster progress than she was and so as he got closer he was able to see more clearly what she was doing.

She was picking up starfish, and returning them to the water.

Walking even closer he called out, “What are you doing?”

“These starfish are drying out and dying. I am putting them back into the water.”

“But there are thousands, tens of thousands! One person could never make a difference to all of these!”

The young lady didn’t reply immediately, but scooped up another starfish, and threw it into the sea. Shielding her eyes from the sun, she followed the arc of its flight.

And then she turned to the man again.

“There, I’ve made a difference to that one!”

Beautiful purple starfish

If you can just make a difference to ONE...

Photo attribution: CC2.0

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