Making a difference

Make a difference

Imagine an empty beach at dawn.
You wander along the coast alone.

Strangely, the beach is covered in thousands of starfish,
and each crashing wave washes dozens more onto the shore.

Then, you notice a figure in the distance that seems to be dancing.
As you approach you realise that the figure is in fact a young boy,
and he is not dancing but gently throwing something into the ocean.

“What are you doing?”, you ask.

“Throwing starfish into the ocean.
The sun is coming up and the tide is going out.
They will die.”

“But you can’t throw all of these starfish back into the ocean.
There are thousands.
You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The boy bends down and picks up another starfish.
“I made a difference to that one,” says the boy,
throwing the starfish into the surf.

- Adapted from “The Starfish Thrower” by Loren Eiseley.

Lee Hecht Harrison