Adapted from the original by Loren Eiseley

One day a father and his young daughter were walking the beach hand in hand. The little girl kept stopping to pick up the stranded starfish from the shoreline to toss them into the ocean one by one. The father, getting a little annoyed at the interruption of the walk said, “Sweetie, there are thousands of starfish stranded on this beach, you couldn’t possibly make a difference.” The daughter looked up into her father’s eyes paused with contemplation and then bent back down to pick up another starfish and tossed it into the ocean. She looked back up into his eyes and said, “I made all the difference in the world to that one.”

The nearby onlookers seeing this endearing interaction were moved by her wholesome sense of duty and got up to join her in her efforts to save the stranded starfish, and together they made an even greater impact.