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 to think of someone who would dance to the day. He then began to walk faster to catch up to this person.
As he got closer, the wise man saw that it was a young man. The young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the sand and picking up something and then, very gently throwing it into the ocean.
The wise man continued to walk faster, until he got closer to the young man. He then called out… “Good morning! What are you doing?”
The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
The wise man replied, “I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
The young man turned and said, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them into the ocean, all of them will die.”
The wise man replied, “Young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely. Then he bent down… picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean, past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.” Author Unknown