The Starfish Parable

I attended a networking meeting with work the other day and the main sponsor of the event read this piece in his presentation.

I liked it and made me think of why I am doing my rowing challenges to raise money for Centrepoint.   It’s a lot of effort and I won’t be able to help very many people with the money raised but I am certainly hoping to make a big difference to a few.



An old man had a habit of early morning walks along the beach.

One day, as he looked down the shore he saw a human figure moving like a dancer.
As he got closer he saw the it was a young woman and she wasn’t dancing but instead was reaching down to the sand, picking up starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.

“Young lady, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

‘The sun is up and the tide is going out, and if I don’t throw them in they’ll die”

“But there are millions of them. What difference can it possibly make?”

The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it in the sea, past the breaking waves saying…
‘It made a big difference to that one!”