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A Difference

 

A man was walking along a beach
when he noticed in the distance the
shape of someone moving back and
forth from the water to the
beach and back again. He watched this
with interest for a moment then hurried his
pace to see what they were doing.

 

As he got closer he saw what had
happened literally thousands of
starfish had been washed up
onto the beach after a recent storm.
Beautiful five pointed stars, pink and tan,
laying on the sand, drying out and dying.

 

The figure he had seen was that of an elderly
woman as she moved slowly, but purposefully
picking up a starfish and then walking into the
surf and lowering it into the water, then back
to collect another starfish and carry it to the water.

 

The man picked his way through the
massive marine graveyard until he
reached the woman and asked her
"There are so many starfish here, how
can what you're doing make a difference?"

 

The old woman looked up at
him for a moment after depositing
another starfish into the water.
"It makes a difference to this one," she replied.

Author Unknown