Making a Difference

With the world apparently going to hell in a handbasket and our seeming inability to halt the downward spiral, I’d like to share a little story courtesy of the Humane Society International, Australia. (Reproduced with the kind permission of Verna Simpson, Director, HSI: Australia.)

The Starfish Story


Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to
do his writing.

He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.


One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach
and saw a human figure moving like a dancer.

He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the
day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.


As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man,
and that what he was doing was not dancing at all.

The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects,
and throwing them into the ocean.


He came closer still and called out. “Good morning! May I ask what it
is that you are doing?”


The young man paused, looked up, and replied. “Throwing starfish into
the ocean.”


“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked
the somewhat startled wise man.


To this, the young man replied. “The sun is up and the tide is going
out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”


Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not
realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all
along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”


At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and
threw it into the ocean.

As it met the water, he said, “I made a difference to that one!”

I took these pictures while walking on a sand cay exposed at low tide – making a difference to the stranded starfish I found.