If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Making a Difference

The Starfish Story

adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley
(1907 – 1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

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 man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.

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.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

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 wise man 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!”

As if he hadn’t heard, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one

English: Starfish in the Indian Ocean, near Mo...

English: Starfish in the Indian Ocean, near Mombasa, Kenya Русский: Нижняя стороны морской звезды. Видны ножки-присоски. Индийский океан, недалеко от Момбасы, Кения (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Comments on: "Making a Difference" (4)

  1. This story gave me chills – thank you for sharing!

  2. Reblogged this on MetaRead360 Small Press presents and commented:
    I luv-luv-luv the starfish story!

  3. […] “It Started With a Quote” is a blog I follow. You should take a look. I found this recent one to be helpful because it shows how intuitive it is for us to accept one of life’s crucial mistakes as being reasonable. […]

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