3.15.2011

It Makes a Difference

The Man and the Starfish

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.  As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

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.”

The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

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 elderly observer 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!”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Help out where you can!

I was in a thrift shop in Swansboro over a year ago and this old tattered piece of paper was framed with a story on it.  I took the time to read it and every once in a while I remember it and go what was that story again???  I kept thinking it was about jellyfish.  I often get to the beach and do find jellyfish washed ashore and try and try to thrown them back in.  I always think they are such helpless little creatures that everyone hates.  I'm torn, I don't want them to die but I also don't want to fling them on some unsuspected tourist who might get hurt!  What to do?  I guess let nature take its course...or help out.  Every situation in life is different, some are easier to handle so you just never know.  Just making a decision you can live with is what works best for me. 

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