The Story of the Starfish
A woman was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As she walked, she noticed a young girl in the distance. Every few moments she would reach down into the sand and then throw something into the water as far as she could.
As the woman approached the girl, she could see that she was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach. One at a time she was returning them to the water. Kindly, the woman asked the girl what she was doing. She replied matter-of-factly, "I'm throwing starfish back into the ocean before they die." The woman looked along the coast and gestured, "But there are thousands of starfish on this beach, and there are hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference."
The girl smiled, reached down and picked up another starfish. As she threw it back into the sea, she replied, "I made a difference to that one."
- Adapted from a story by Loren Eiseley