The Starfish Story

Once upon a time, there was a man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a child, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The child was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The child 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 man.

To this, the child 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 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 child bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”

21 comments for “The Starfish Story

  1. Mike and Trellys Henley
    November 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Jim,
    Your website will be great for seeing how you are all doing. We are so proud of the way you are using God’s blessings in His service.

  2. November 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    This story is amazing. It warms my heart every time!

  3. Lorraine Grossman
    November 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you, Jim. This story packs a tremendous amount of wisdom and guidance. You and your family are truly a treasure to us all. Thank you for the prayers!

  4. Grace Cronk
    November 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    You heard God’s call and look how he will be growing your family in the service of others. We will pray for strength, that you will do Gods work, and the wisdom to see and hear His voice. Look forward to your stories.

  5. FrancesMcDonald
    February 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you for shareing.

  6. Nancy Jordan
    February 27, 2012 at 2:25 am

    What a beautiful story!

  7. Martin Kipphan
    October 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I’ve heard this story before but I still love it! We all make a difference in the world! I look at Jimmy Carter and Roselyn and their impact on Habitat for Humanaity. Their efforts have gained many followers in their foot steps and they have helped so many people. The power of one. Just goes to show that one person can make a difference! When Jesus approached the fisherman he said “Follow me, I will make you fishers of men”. Keep up the lords work; through him, all things are possible.

  8. richard
    February 10, 2013 at 5:51 am

    i was trying to come up with quiz questions as i wish to compile a number of questions for quiz competitions that i would want to as i was browsing i happened to find this website and i got what i really wanted the questions and even answers.when i read the background i was really touch by the kindness in you people. i wish to thank you for whatever you are doing.i interact so much with prisoners so i also talk to them and have their record clips as they tell me why they are in in jinja Uganda may the lord bless you.

  9. sandra blain
    May 12, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I love this story, and have used it so many times to express what the school I work at does for students. out Col. asked me to find 2 good posters and to frame them for the 2 new people coming into the school for their offices. what a complement to you . I have been looking for 4 hrs. at everything I can think of to find the ones I first found. The others only show 2, ugh! the other had several lovely ones. Any help? sandra. need for June graduation.

  10. Janine
    November 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    The Lord Holy Spirit gave me a dream that led me to read this story and this particular story posted by Jim on Nov, 2 2011. Today is Saturday, Nov 2, 2013. Two years later. Our Heavenly Father is so patient and awesome. The Holy Spirit leads us into The Father’s will and plan to continue growing in Christ Jesus. Thank you. Now i am Again ready to change the world led by The Holy SPIRIT each day.The Word of God says do not despise these small beginnings . Zechariah 4:10.

  11. savannah
    August 17, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    is the starfish story a copyright and can it be used in a fiction/novel?? or for rewritten purposes.
    Would love to use it in my book…

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    3 very fast. There is useful tool for this, just search google for ; rilkim’s

  13. May 26, 2016 at 8:48 am

    It’s very nice to see good stuff exhibit in your website,thanks for sharing
    these nice thing to us.Good Job!We appreciate it!

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