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One at a Time

A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach
at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man
in the distance. As he drew nearer, he noticed that
a local kept leaning down, picking something up
and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept
hurling things out into the ocean.

As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that
the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up
on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back
into the water.

Our friend was puzzled.
He approached the man and said, "Good evening, friend.
I was wondering what you are doing."

"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean.
You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish
have been washed up onto the shore.
If I don't throw them back into the sea,
they'll die up here from lack of oxygen."

"I understand," my friend replied,
"but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach.
You can't possibly get to all of them.
There are simply too many.
And don't you realize this is probably happening on hundreds
of beaches all up and down this coast?
Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"

The local smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish,
and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied,
"I Made a difference to that one!"

By Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen


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