Friday, May 27, 2011

The Starfish Story

The Starfish Story
A variation of the original story by Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a little girl picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the little girl, he asked, “What are you doing?”

She replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Little girl,” the man said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the girl bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.

Then, smiling at the man, she said, “I made a difference for that one.”

In such turbulent times as these, when we may feel alone and small and unable to make any lasting changes we may find ourselves asking "What can I do that will make a difference?" or "What can one small person like me do?"

In reality we don't have to be rich, talented or even college educated to make a difference in the life of another. We just need to remember that we are here for a purpose, and that making small changes in the world eventually add up to something bigger in the life of another.


  1. oh my gosh, I LOVE this little story. It is so very true. We CAN make a difference. I am a middle school teacher and there truly are times that I think my work is for naught. This story always reminds me that ONE kind word to ONE student can change that student's day or LIFE sometimes for the better. That is a great and true story that can help all of us, regardless of our situations!!!

  2. My lovely wife and I use this story often when we talk to others about the needs of orphans here in the US foster care system


Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts - we love it when you do!

~ Jack & Erin

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