It’s a Matter of Perspective … the Story of the Starfish

I heard this simple, yet profound, story on a matter of perspective in making a difference the other day … and would like to share it:


Once upon a time, there was a wise man that used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he started his work.

story of the starfish
Awesome story of the starfish.


One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. As a result, he walked faster to catch up with this individual.



As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that so a young man and he was not dancing after all. He was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.


As he approached, he 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 must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled writer.


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.”


Upon hearing this, the writer commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”


wise man
A very wise man.




At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it sank into the ocean, he said: “It made a difference for that one.”


Another great story: Great Stories and Storytelling Can Have a Very Healing Influence




My takeaway from this story?

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are … and a difference will be made.  


Credit to Loren Eisely … source unknown. 


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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn.  


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More inspirational stories from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

A Story About Living as Told by a Six Year Old Boy

Never Give Up Your Dreams

The Story of Tank the Dog or Is It Reggie?

Surprising Story Lessons on Making a Difference


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It’s a Matter of Perspective … the Story of the Starfish
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