Adapted from "The Star Thrower"
by Loren Eiseley
A man was jogging down the beach after a major
storm had just come through the area. He was dismayed by the huge
number of starfish that the storm had washed up on the beach. He
thought that there was nothing he could do because of the immense
numbers. As he continued down the beach he saw an old man throw
something into the water. As he got closer, he saw the old man walk
a little farther down the beach, bend over, pick up a starfish and
throw it back into the water. As the jogger approached, the old
man stopped again, bent over, picked up another starfish and was
about to throw it into the water.
The jogger stopped and asked "Why are you
doing that? There are thousands of starfish on the beach. You can't
possibly make a difference." The old man looked at the starfish,
threw it back into the water, then replied, "I made a difference
to that one."