Inspiration for Today: The Starfish Story

The Starfish Story

A man was walking along a sandy beach. In the distance, he noticed a figure bending down, picking something up, and throwing it into the ocean. A young girl came into focus as he approached.

Starfish by Danny McL, on Flickr

Photo: "Starfish" by Danny McL

“Excuse me,” the man asked the child, “but what are you doing?”

The girl replied, “I am saving the starfish”

The man looked around and squinted into the distance. He saw that he and the girl were surrounded by stranded starfish that stretched for miles up the shoreline.

“My child,” the man asked kindly, “there must be thousands of starfish here; what difference could you possibly make?”

The girl picked up another starfish and tossed it into the waves.

“I made a difference to that one.”

Adapted from Loren Eiseley’s original essay “The Star Thrower” in his 1969 book The Unexpected Universe, multiple variations of this story can be found across the internet. The version above is taken from a publication by the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development.


About The Bone Marrow Foundation

Founded in 1992, The Bone Marrow Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplant patients and their families by providing vital financial assistance, emotional support, and comprehensive educational programs. The Foundation is the only organization of its kind that does not limit assistance to a specific disease, type of transplant or age range.

One response to “Inspiration for Today: The Starfish Story”

  1. Tonya says :

    This is one of my favorites!!! Thank you for the reminder!
    I have had two dogs pass away from battles with cancer – one with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and one from Bone Cancer. All the work that you are doing helps so many…..and not just humans. Thank you for the work that you do!

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