The Starfish Story: one step towards changing the world

A Parable originally published in 1969

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. 

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

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

298 total views, 1 views today

Published by siteowner

Denise has built a 30+ year career in Arizona Real Estate sales. Licensed as a Realtor since 1985, she has also held licenses in construction, securities Series 7, and is a Legacy LEED AP. She holds a SRES certification and works with families facing Aging and Chronic Illness. She & husband Patrick are long time members of YPO and share a strong passion for faith, community and fitness. Patrick is President of Realty Executives International, founded in Scottsdale in 1965 with over 500 offices worldwide. Denise is passionate about sustainability and healthy indoor environments. She is a LEED AP, Ecobroker, past Chair of the AZ US Green Building Council, Charter member of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure and an Envision Verifier. She works equally with both buyers and sellers. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *