Stories - Reflections

Parable of the Starfish

An elder was walking along the ocean shore line one morning after a very high tide. As he wandered, he noticed thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore, and he realized that they would die if they were not returned to the sea.

But there were so many, there was no way to save them.

He looked up from the sand, and in the distance he saw someone bending, reaching, then standing, and throwing something into the sea.

He approached, and realized that a child was methodically grasping starfish and throwing them, one by one, into the ocean, repeating the gesture again and again.

The elder stopped the child and asked, “Why are you bothering? There are miles and miles of beach… And thousands and thousands of starfish. You can’t possibly make a difference.”

The child looked at the old man, bent down, grasped another starfish, tossed it back into the sea and replied:

“But it made a difference to that one.”