As an old man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed a young girl ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Finally catching up with the youth, he asked why she was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun.
"But the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish," countered the other. "How can your effort make any difference?"
The youth looked at the starfish in her hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. "It makes a difference to this one," she said.
starfish = a sea animal in the shape of a five-pointed star
to fling = to throw or flip
stranded = stuck in an unwanted location
countered = argued, offered a differing opinion