There is a story told about a beach strewn with starfish. In the story, a young man encounters the stranded creatures and is overcome with the desire to rescue them: he bends down and begins to throw the starfish back into the ocean, one by one. A naysayer looking on questions what he’s doing.
“If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
“But 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 bends down, picks up another starfish, and throws it into the sea. He turns to the onlooker.
“It made a difference for that one!”
-from Adoption Through the Rearview Mirror, by Karen Springs. The star-thrower story is originally by Loren Eiseley: this retelling is very adapted.