The Starfish


One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The young boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they will die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said “I made a difference for that one.”


As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.”  Success cannot be found in careers, money, education – although these things are important. To truly be successful human beings we must focus not on ourselves and our needs and desires but rather on the needs of those around us. When we learn to freely give of ourselves to those who can never repay us, that is when we will discover what it truly means to be happy.

Starfish boy


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