Just love the one in front of you (The Starfish story)

One day a man was walking along the beach. He saw another man throwing things one-by-one into the ocean. 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 wise man.

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 wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!

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

– “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley. Read for details on the Starfish story.

4 responses to “Just love the one in front of you (The Starfish story)

  1. Love this story–thanks for the reminder! Just last week was excited to be able to influence the most miserable person I see at work…she smiled!! Just one little thing…but one more than the day before!! thanks!

    Just one by one Rindy. They will know YOU by your love for one another. God bless you! Mark.

  2. Thank you for posting this story. it was a comfort to me when I was burning the candle at both ends and you were trying to illustrate a point.
    You rock Mark

    You rock too Abiding – but you already know that I think that right?

  3. Someone gave me a starfish pin with that same story on it at work. I work part time at a nursing home and when we our residents expire or when they are in pain and I cannot offer enough comfort, I often feel overwhelmed and like I am not making a difference. The starfish story was a good reminder.
    Thanks Mark
    Peace and prayers

    Yeah, just one at a time Neva. – Love, Mark.

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