An the old man walked the beach at dawn, when he noticed a young
girl ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging then into the sea.
After watching the hopeless situation, the man decided to catch up so
he could talk to the ambitious youth. "Why are you doing this?" he asked
the girl. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left
in the morning sun.
"Sweetheart," the old man began, "don't you
know that there are thousands of starfish on this beach? And don't you
know that this beach goes on for miles and miles? There is no way in
the world you can save all those starfish! For all your efforts, it
doesn't make any real difference."
The young girl looked thoughtfully
at the starfish in her hand and then threw it to the safety of the waves,
saying, "It makes a difference to this one".