The Starfish Thrower

Once upon a time there was a wise man

who used to go to the ocean

to do his writing.

He had a habit of walking

on the beach before he began his work.

One day he was walking along the shore.

As he looked down the beach,

he saw a human figure moving like a dancer.

He smiled to himself to think

of someone who would dance to the day.

So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer,

he saw that it was a young boy

and the young boy wasn’t dancing,

but instead he was reaching down to the shore,

picking up something

and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out,

“Good morning! What are you doing?”

The young boy paused,

looked up and replied,

“Throwing starfish in the ocean.”

“I guess I should have asked,

why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”

“The sun is up and the tide is going out.

And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”

“But, young boy, don’t you realize that

there are miles and miles of beach

and starfish all along it.

You can’t possible make a difference!”

The young boy listened politely.

Then bent down, picked up another starfish

and threw it into the sea,

past the breaking waves and said –

“It made a difference for that one.”

(Anonymous)