Caring for and Healing the Earth

Philosophy of Caretaking

The Starfish Story

submitted by Cindy Kamler

A man was walking down a beach and saw another person in the distance. He noticed that this person kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As the man approached, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, was throwing them back into the water."

Puzzled, the man asked: "What are you doing?" The person responded: I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. If I don't, they will die."

"There must be thousands of starfish on this beach. There are simply too many. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The person smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish. As he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "It makes a difference to this one!"


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