The Miracle of the Internet

My favorite childhood book was about children from other countries and I always looked forward to getting mail from pen pals. What a different world the internet has created. Now, I get weekly greetings from Morocco, communicate regularly with a wonderful young woman in Australia and hear from families with questions about laws affecting children in school here in the United States. I had the pleasure of speaking with one of these people this week and thank her for sharing “The Starfish Story,” which I am reprinting here:

The Starfish Story

A young man is walking along the ocean and
sees a beach on which thousands and thousands
of starfish have washed ashore. Further along
he sees an old man, walking slowly and
stooping often, picking up one starfish after
another and tossing each one gently into the
ocean.

“Why are you throwing starfish into the
ocean?,” he asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out
and if I don’t throw them further in they will
die.”

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles
and miles of beach and starfish all along it!
You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even
save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you
work all day, your efforts won’t make any
difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent
down to pick up another starfish and threw it
into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”