The Starfish Story – and the moral is?

The Starfish Story – and the moral is?

Posted on 15. Jul, 2010 by in mishmash, odd stuff, quotes, UK

At Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Queen star Brian May Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University related the Starfish Story as part of the 15th July 2010 Graduation Ceremony for the Business School. It’s a great story that it deserves a mention

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

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.”

The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

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 elderly observer 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!”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Many version of this story have done the rounds on the web, but it is probably paraphrased from “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley, 1907 – 1977.

Oh! Brian May was awarded a doctorate in astrophysics earlier this year, 36 years after abandoning his thesis to pursue a career with Queen….. And you thought he was just a guitarist.

Starfish picture by Chris Murphy

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2 Responses to “The Starfish Story – and the moral is?”

  1. arcen_

    26. Jul, 2010

    it was very interesting to read.
    I want to quote your post in my blog. can i?
    And have you account on Twitter?

    GP: It’s an old, old, story that has been around on the web for many years.. I would love it to be something I wrote, as it’s such a great story.

    You can quote anything off my site – if you can give me a link that would be great.

    My twitter account is

  2. vegeek_ng

    01. Aug, 2010

    I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

    GP: We don’t have a link exchange programme, however if you wish to write a suitable Blog on good/bad things that are happening to the environment/communities/people where you live.. or about something you are passionate about, we would print it with a link .. cheers and thanks for stopping by… Paul

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