I liked Hugh‘s latest cartoon accompanied by this explanation (from here)

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.

Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I bet I made a difference for that one.”

Very much in line with the Little Bets philosophy.

2 thoughts on “Starfish

  1. Earl Mardle

    Reminds me of the Jewish proverb – he who saves a life, saves the world entire.

    Some of us live in a statistical world, others live in the real world. I hope the kid existed and continued to live there.

    BTW, I tried to teach my daughter my own philosophy which is to expect nothing and to take opportunities that look interesting.

    Its worked for me so far, including three amazing wives.


  2. Matt Moore

    I read Little Bets a few weeks ago. It harmonised with a lot of my own recent thinking – esp. about our obsession with heroic “big ideas” rather than lots of small steps.


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