Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Starfish Story

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

I am doing my best - All Pretty ThingsAs he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

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."

The old man smiled, and said, "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

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 elderly observer commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."

This story has been circulated around the web in many versions, usually with no mention of author. It is said to be paraphrased from "The Star Thrower" by Loren Eiseley, 1907 - 1977.

I picked it up from this website - it goes along last week's inspirational moment...

I hear it very often: what difference can I make? Maybe none - maybe you'll be just a drop in the ocean. However all you can do is try your best - if at the end of the day you know you have done your best, you made a difference: in your life, and in a few other people lives too!

Go on, try it. When you pass a piece of garbage on the ground, don't ask yourself 'why should I pick it up?'. Ask instead: 'Why shouldn't I pick it up?' then pick it and throw it in the garbage can.

Photo credit: africa /


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Dita :)

      After reading the 'I am a hummingbird' post my mom asked if I heard about the starfish - and I thought it'll work very nicely together.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!