युवक ने जवाब दिया – “मैं इन स्टारफिश को समुद्र में फेंक रहा हूँ।”
“लेकिन इन्हें पानी में फेंकने की क्या ज़रूरत है?”- आदमी बोला।
युवक ने कहा – “ज्वार का पानी उतर रहा है और सूरज की गर्मी बढ़ रही है। अगर मैं इन्हें वापस पानी में नहीं फेंकूंगा तो ये मर जाएँगी”।
आदमी ने देखा कि समुद्रतट पर दूर-दूर तक स्टारफिश बिखरी पड़ी थीं। वह बोला – “इस मीलों लंबे समुद्रतट पर न जाने कितनी स्टारफिश पड़ी हुई हैं। इस तरह कुछेक को पानी में वापस डाल देने से तुम्हें क्या मिल जाएगा?”
युवक ने शान्ति से आदमी की बात सुनी, फ़िर उसने रेत पर झुककर एक और स्टारफिश उठाई। उसे आहिस्ता से पानी में फेंककर वह बोला :
“इसे सब कुछ मिल जाएगा”।
लोरेनईसली की कहानी
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “I made a difference to that one!”