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  • Mary Garner

All The Difference


While walking along a beach, I saw someone in the distance lean down, pick something up and throw it into the ocean. As I got closer, I 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. I 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.” I smiled and said, “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.” I 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.”

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