A well known author and poet was working and vacationing on the southern coast of Spain. One morning, very early, he was walking along the beach The sun was just rising, the rain had ended, the rainbows were magnificent, the sea calm. While enjoying the beauty about him, he glanced down the beach and saw a lone figure dancing about. Fascinated by this other person celebrating the day that was to dawn, he moved closer. As he came nearer, he realized that the young man was not dancing, but in one graceful movement was picking objects up from off the beach and tossing them into the sea. As he approached the young man, he saw that the objects were starfish.
"Why in the world are you throwing starfish into the water?" he asked.
"If the starfish are still on the beach when the tide goes out and the sun rises higher in the sky, they will die," replied the young man as he continued tossing them out to sea.
"That's ridiculous! There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish. You can't really believe that what you are doing could possibly make a difference."
The young man picked up another starfish, paused thoughtfully and remarked as he tossed it out into the waves, "It makes a difference to this one."