Bev's Happy Owls

The Star Fish Story


I first heard the Starfish story when I became a Weight Watcher leader, it was on the bag of a compliment card I received in the post from head office, in those days if a member contacted Weight Watchers about their leader to sing their praises, they would write what was said in a card and post it to us. On the front of those cards were 3 star fish images and on the back this;

One day a man was walking along a 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 boy replied 'Throwing starfish back into the ocean. They get washed up on the beach and if I don't throw them back into the water they'll die'

The man said to the boy 'but there are thousands of these starfish washed up on the beach - what difference can you make throwing a few back into the water?'

The boy never said a word. He bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the water. Then smiling at the man, he said...

'I made a difference to that one.'

I found out later that this was adapted from a book called The Star Thrower, by Loren E. Eiseley where he talks of the day when he was walking along a sandy beach where thousands of starfish had been washed up on the shore. He noticed a boy picking up the starfish one by one and throwing them back into the ocean. Eiseley observed the boy for a few minutes and then asked what he was doing. The boy replied that he was returning the starfish to the sea otherwise they would die.

Eiseley then asked how saving a few, when so many were doomed, would make any difference whatsoever? The boy picked up a starfish and as he threw it back said "It's going to make a lot of difference to this one!"

Eiseley apparently left the boy and went home to continue writing, only to find he could not type a single word. Instead he returned to the beach and spent the rest of the day helping the boy throw starfish into the sea.

How you live your life, how you behave, shapes not only your own future but that of the world.

So each night, before you go to sleep, ask yourself did I make a difference today?

Simple enough question to ask, and when you can answer yes more often than not, you're doing something right!