The Starfish Story
adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who liked to go to the ocean and walk on the beach.
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, so he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young boy, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young boy was reaching down to the shore, picking up starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean, beyond the breaking waves.
"I must ask, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this the young boy 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 child, 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!"
As if he hadn't heard, the young boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it lovingly back into the ocean. As it met the water, he turned, smiled and said, "I made a difference to that one!"
The Star Thrower, an original story written by Loren Eiseley, is a classic tale and powerful reminder that we each have within us the power to make a difference in the lives of others. We are here to lift each other up, to help each other as best we can, whenever we can, and to preserve against the odds.