The Starfish Story
A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at
sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the
distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native
kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out
into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things
out into the ocean.
As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man
was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach
and, one at time, he was throwing them back into the water.
Our friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said,
"Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing."
"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see,
it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been
washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the
sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen."
"I understand," my friend replied, "but there must be thousands
of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of
them. There are simply too many. And don't you realize this is
probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this
coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"
The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another
starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied,
"made a difference to THAT one!"