Save a starfish at a time?

There is an old story of a little boy standing on the beach, throwing starfishes back into the ocean. It’s low tide and the starfishes littered the beach presumably washed up due to the low tide. An old man walks past him and asks him what he was doing it. After hearing the boy’s explanation, the old man asks him why he was doing it as he couldn’t possibly save all of them. The boy throws another starfish back, shrugs his shoulders and says that he made a difference to at least that particular one he threw back.

Do you help people just because? Do we always need a reason or a reward to do so? Even if it is something small like introducing someone they could get along with or bond or work together? I advocate the pay it forward movement where one good deed begets another. Start with yourself. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change. Help one person and hope that gets translated on. And when I mean help, it doesn’t necessarily have to be giving money or physically helping someone who fell to stand up but also in terms of ideas and feedback to make them or what they are doing better. Need free ideas anyone? The decision is up to you.
Thanks Shani and Adi Jewelry for the photo. Check out their store at

Update (including Andrew’s rendition of the story)

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 realise 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.”


2 thoughts on “Save a starfish at a time?

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