dead starfish on beach


An old man went down to the beach in the morning, where the surf roared onto the still cool sand at the lowest of the tide. And the beach was covered with starfish, stranded by the tide, as far as the eye could see. And the old man bent and began picking up the starfish and throwing them, one by one, back into the water.

A young runner in a grey tracksuit passed, and stopped, and turned, and said: ‘What are you doing? Can’t you see that you’re wasting your time? There are hundreds of starfish here. Your throwing of a few back won’t make a bit of difference.’

The old man simply bent, and picked up another rough shape in his rough hand, and threw the starfish out into the water with a quiet splash. And said: ‘It made a difference to that one.’

>>> Coming Next: Goethe quote

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The team@Custodian