As the old man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea.
Finally, catching up with the youth he asked him why he was doing this.
The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun.
"But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish, " countered the old man." " How can your effort make any difference?"
The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. " It makes a difference to this one," he said.