“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me.

As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea.

When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die.

I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference.

starfishHe smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, “It makes a difference for this one.”

I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.”  

This story by Loren Eisley has been told in lots of different ways and places and I love it. It fits so well with my beliefs that: