The Star Thrower

As the old man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up to the youth, he asked why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun. “But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,” countered the other. “How can your effort make any difference?” The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and threw it to safety in the waves. “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.

— Loren C. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

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