Story of the Starfish

I heard a wonderful story earlier today and it went something like this:

An older gentlemen woke early, as he often did, just before sunrise to walk by the ocean’s edge and greet the new day. As he moved through the misty along the shorline, his eyes caught a motion off in the distance. As he drew closer, he saw a small boy, running back and forth along the beach, flailing his arms and dancing.

As he came even closer, he realized that the small was not dancing, but rather bending to sift through the debris left by the night’s tide, stopping now and then to pick up a starfish and then standing, to heave it back into the sea. He asked the boy the purpose of the effort. “The tide washed the starfish onto the beach and they can’t get back to the water by themselves!” the boy replied. “When the sun rises, they’ll die, unless I can get them back to the sea.”

The older man surveyed the vast expanse of beach, stretching in both directions beyond his sight, he saw starfish littered alonge the shore in numbers beyond calculation. The hopelessness of the small boy’s plan seemed clear to him and he countered, “But there are more starfish on this beach than you can ever save before the sun is up. Surely you cannot expect to make a difference.”

He paused a moment to consider the older man’s words, bent to pick up a starfish and threw it as far as he could out into the ocean. Turning back to the older man he smiled briefly and said, “I made a difference to that one.”

The older man left the small boy and went home, deep in thought of what he had said. Before long, he returned to the beach and spent the rest of the day helping the boy throw starfish in to the sea.

Goodnight World! :)

-Jonathan Wold

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