The Starfish Story

The question is not, can we save the world, or do our individual actions actually matter. The question is, can we break our hearts open enough, feel and love deeply and passionately enough, to LIVE as if we can. To live in a way that our intention to see a whole and just world informs even our smallest actions. That is our task on the journey from human to our humanity. For the life of one, or for the world itself (for the world is in that one); our every action holds the power to transform ...

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, "What are you doing?" The youth 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." "Son", 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 boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…"I made a difference for that one.’”

The Original Starfish Story found in ”Star Thrower”, a collection of essays by the naturalist and writer, Loren Eiseley 1978