Walking down a beach at sunset, I saw a boy picking up something and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As I approached closer, I called to him,
“What you are doing?”
“I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean,” he replied. “It’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die.”
I answered, “But there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly help all of them. What difference are you really making?”
The boy smiled, bent down, and picked up yet another starfish;
and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “I made a difference to that one!”
Adapted from a story attributed to Loren Eiseley.