An old man was walking along a shore at dawn when he saw someone in the distance bending down, picking something up and hurling it into the ocean. As he got closer, he saw that it was a boy picking up starfish one after another from the sand and gently tossing each back into the water.
The old man got closer still and inquired, “Good morning, young man. May I ask what you are doing?”
The boy paused to look up and answered, “The sun is out and the tide is going away. If I don’t return the starfish back into the ocean, they will die.”
“But son, do you not realize that the shore stretches on for miles and miles, and each mile has starfish lying along it. What difference will you be able to make?” the man questioned.
“Well,” the boy replied, picking up another starfish and flinging it back into the ocean. “It made a difference to that one.”