Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?” The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.”
“I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”
“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”
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Symbolism of Starfish
According to whats-your-sign.com the Starfish is a universal symbol of divine love.
In Christian symbolism the Starfish represents the Virgin Mary (Stella Maris means Star of the Sea), who lovingly creates safe travel over troubled waters and is also seen as an emblem of salvation during trying times. The star and the starfish are seen as celestial symbols, and as such, they represent infinite divine love. In addition to love, the Starfish also holds characteristics such as guidance, vigilance, inspiration, brilliance and intuition.
In Egyptian mythology, the Starfish is one of the many titles of the goddess Isis, under which she was adored by tempest-tossed sailors. The attributes of a marine deity may have been bestowed on Isis by the sea-faring Greeks of Alexandria. On this hypothesis Sirius, the bright star of Isis, was the true Stella Maris.
In ecology, the starfish is considered a keystone species. It is one of the species that play a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community, affecting many other organisms in an ecosystem and helping to determine the types and numbers of various other species in the community.