One morning, an elderly man was walking along the beach when he noticed a young boy picking something off the sand and throwing it into the sea.
As he got closer, the man realized the child was throwing stranded starfishes that had washed up on the shore back into the breaking waves.
Approaching the boy, the man asked what he was doing.
– “The starfish will die if they’re still on the shore when the sun rises”, he replied.
Perplexed, the old man said, “But that’s pointless! There are countless miles of beach and thousands of starfish. It doesn’t matter how many you return to the water, you can’t make a difference.”
Unfazed, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and tossed it into the sea. “It matters to this one,” he said.