The boy who saved starfish

Here’s an old story that’s a nice example of waging peace.

Every year storms washed hundreds of starfish onto the beach.  If left on the beach, they will dry out and die.  One day a young boy was visiting the beach with his family and after such as a storm had subsided, he went down to the shoreline.  He saw thousands of starfish littering the beach, as far down the beach as he could see.

He walked down to where they were, and stared at one.  There were ten or fifteen within reach, but he looked at one in particular. He was a little afraid of it, since it looked sort of sharp edged, but he picked it up, and tossed it back into the sea.

Then he picked up another one and tossed it back into the sea.  Then another, and another.  He spent the better part of an hour picking up starfish and tossing back into the sea, where they would be safe.

Then an older man came up to him and asked “What are you doing”

“I’m rescuing starfish,” the boy explained.  “If they stay on the shore they will dry up and die.  If I toss them back, they will be able to live.”

“But that’s stupid,” said the older man.  “You can’t possible save all the starfish on this beach. There must be thousands.”

The boy picked up another starfish, held it up for the man to see, and said “Tell that to this one.”  And he tossed it back into the sea.

The man walked on, and the boy continued to rescue his starfish.  A few minutes latter the boy looked back towards the man.  And the older man was standing at the shore, looking down at a clump of starfish.

Wondering what to do.

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