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 man and the young man 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 man 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
"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"
The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish
and threw it into the ocean, past the breaking waves and said - "It made a
difference for that one."