As the old man walked down a Spanish beach at dawn, he saw ahead of him what he thought to be a dancer. The young man was running across the sand, rhythmically bending down to pick up a stranded starfish and throwing it far into the sea.
The old man gazed in wonder as the young soul again and again threw the small starfish from the sand to the water. The old man approached him and asked why he spent so much energy doing what seemed a waste of time.
The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun.
"But there must be thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish. How can your effort make any difference?''
The young man looked down at the small starfish in his hand and, as he threw it to safety in the sea, said, "I made a difference to this one."