Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
Buy the #EatForThePlanet book



Have you heard the story about the boy and the starfish? No? Well, it goes a little something like this:

One day an old man was walking along the beach, and he noticed a boy at the shore picking up a starfish and throwing it back into the sea.  He went up to the boy and asked “What are you doing?”. The boy said, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the old man said, “But, young man, do you realize there are thousands of starfish along the shore? You can’t possibly help them all?” The boy looked down,  picked up another starfish and threw it back into the water and he replied, “But I made a huge difference to that one.”

Next time you feel like the little things you do don’t matter, remember this story. Even if you only save one life, that life is of infinite value. There truly are no small good deeds. In the words of Jane Goodall, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

If we look at the whole world and all the things that need fixing in it, we will become discouraged. No one person can fix all there is to fix, especially not all at once. But if we all just keep chipping away at it, it will get better.

You don’t need to save the whole world by yourself, but if you do good things, help others, live kindly, you will make a difference. Who knows? You might even inspire someone to follow along.

Just like the boy and the starfish, he couldn’t save all the starfish in the world. But he made all the difference in the world to those starfishes he saved.

“To make a difference in someone’s life, you do not have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care.” ~ Mandy Hale

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

This Man Filmed Himself Brutally Beating a Dog and Said He Will Do the Same to Women – He MUST Be Arrested

French Schools to Provide Meat-Free Meals Once a Week and Eliminate Single-Use Plastics Thanks to New Law

WTH?! USFWS Has Decided to Allow Unlawful Import of a Black Rhino Killed By a Trophy Hunter

There Is Nothing More Pure Than This ‘Honorary Cat Grandpa’ Who Volunteers and Naps With Special Needs Cats

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

10 comments on “Think Again the Next Time You Feel That One Person Cannot Make a Difference”

Click to add comment
4 Years Ago

Thank you lots for your inspirational vids and info ,yay to the universe, we are getting better at looking after the world and life.

Ayla Way
4 Years Ago


Kirsten Lassen-Smith
4 Years Ago

You just have to care <3

Clare Brenton
4 Years Ago

So wonderful what an amazing boy god Bless him x

Nadan Boy Form Udaipur
4 Years Ago


Karen Nyreen
4 Years Ago

Is it, "I saved this ONE?" I love that story. My mom read it to me as a child and I took after that trying to save creatures!

The Animal Spirits
4 Years Ago

Love this story. Shared by "The Animal Spirits"

Joshua Blackwelder
4 Years Ago

Regarding its origins: '"The Star Thrower" (or "starfish story") is part of a 16-page essay of the same name by Loren Eiseley (1907–1977), published in 1969 in The Unexpected Universe.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_Thrower

Crystal Whyte
19 Jul 2014

Cool. Thanks.

Jennifer Losavio
4 Years Ago

This story is my favorite!!

Margaret Jablonski
4 Years Ago

I always loved this story! So nice to think that even small steps of kindness can help change our world. Thanks for reminding us of this story.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×