One day an old man was walking along the beach in the early morning and noticed the tide had washed thousands of starfish up onto the shore. Ahead, he spotted a boy gathering up the starfish, then one by one tossing them back into the ocean. He approached the boy and asked why he spent so much energy doing what seemed to be a waste of time. The boy replied, “The starfish cannot live if they are left out in the sun.”
Then the old man gazed out as far as he could see and responded, “But there must be thousands of miles of beaches and countless starfish. You can’t possibly rescue all of them. What difference is throwing back a few going to make anyway?” The boy bent down picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled, and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
The old man leaned over, picked up a starfish and joined the boy throwing starfish into the water.