The Fisherman

This is an unusually nice email forward someone sent me recently. Also, there wasn’t an attached message saying “You will die if you don’t send this to a hundred people”.

An investment banker was on the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. His boat was full of beautiful yellow tuna. The banker complimented the fisherman on his catch, asking how long it took to catch. The fisherman replied “Only a short time.”

The banker asked why not stay out and catch more. The fisherman replied, “I’ve enough fish to feed my family.”

The banker then asked what did the fisherman do with the rest of his time, he replied “I will sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening, sip wine with my friends, play my guitar, I have a full and busy life.”

The banker was not impressed. “I have a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat and from those increased proceeds you could buy several boats and soon have a fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you could control production, processing and distribution by building your own cannery. You could leave this small coastal village and move to the city then to New York where you could run your expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “How long will this take?”

The banker said, “Ten to 20 years.” “But what then?”

“Next you would announce an IPO and sell your stock to the public, making millions and millions. Then you could retire to a small coastal village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings, sip wine and play your guitar with your friends,” said the banker smiling.

The fisherman looked puzzled, “I don’t understand this, you are suggesting that I should go one big loop so as to end up where I am today, happily fishing on the cliff?”

Moral of the story Almost everyone here is constantly working to achieve happiness. We all work hard, trying to earn more money. What is the point of all this when we are not happy? After all, we are forcing ourselves to work harder just to obtain happiness. Are we all trying to be like the man above, going a full circle to end up being at the same place?