Why Starfish?

by Kate on September 19, 2011

StarfishThe other week, a couple of people asked me the origins of my business name, Starfish Consulting.

Here’s an adaption of the short story which gave me the inspiration.

A man was walking along a beach at daybreak. In the distance he saw a young woman repeatedly bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. As the man drew nearer, he saw the beach was covered with starfish. The woman was throwing them one at a time back into the ocean.

He asked the young woman what she was doing, to which she replied, “I am throwing the starfish back into the sea – if I don’t, they will dry up and die.”

Laughing, the man said, “But there are so many starfish on the beach, you can’t possibly make a difference.”

The young woman picked up a starfish and threw it back into the sea. “Well,” she said, “I made a huge difference to that one.”

The next day, the young woman came back to the beach. She saw the same man and his children throwing starfish back into the sea. “Hello,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes. “We are here to make a difference to a few more starfish.”

Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley 1907 – 1977

Sometimes, there seems to be so much to be done, and making a difference feels overwhelming. But small actions can and do make a difference, and often others will join in if we start something.

[For more on starfish and business, you might be interested in "The Starfish and the Spider" by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom]



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