Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "only a little while."

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 - 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!"

"Millions - then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
-- From the internet. Author unknown.
Note: Do let me know if anybody knows who came up with this so that I can credit accordingly.


catch 22 said...

Good one :)

Chandru said...

Wonderful post!!!

blade said...


Brood Mode said...

ok :)

u know what i mean!

shooting star said...


The Soliloquist said...

This came as an e-mail fwd quite sometime back...

Do u think all these accolades are relevant!!??

Besides, reading it and reflecting for a second or more may be, nothing is gonna change in our lives..

We would still be running the rat race for "God-knows-what" and still be reading such 'truths of life' on the internet and in forwarded mails and sighing/reflecting/featuring them in our blogs.

musafir said...

catch22, chandru, blade, brood_mode, shooting star: Nice to know that you people appreciate the story.

the soliloquist: Ah, the first time I post something resembling a forward on my blog and I get slammed for it!

Well, yes, it's been doing the rounds on the internet for quite some time I believe, but I read this only recently and put it up on the blog to remind myself, and the few others who read my blog, of the importance of priorities in life.

I'm not sure about the accolades being relevant or not but at a more basic level, how is anything relevant at all? Why do anything in the first place? Why blog? Why comment?

There are, I feel, two ways of looking at people.

a) Materialistically minded beings who are pretentious to the core, who read forwards about the truths of life and sigh/comment in order to convey the impression that they really worry about not pursuing their purpose in life, while in reality all that they are concerned about are appraisals at work, the sensex and pretty newsreaders on TV.


b) Shackled people who slog all day at a job they're not totally in love with, saving money for that day when they can wag their middle finger at their bosses and go do whatever they want in life without giving a damn about what anyone else thinks. Like someone I admire says in this wonderful article which many people never read, there are a lot of ways to go about doing what one loves without falling into the rat race.

Of course there's this gray area -- like with everything else in life -- occupied by people involved in varying degrees of self-denial and self-deception. Again, one can choose to condemn them for being weak and lacking the courage to break free, or condone their weakness for taking the easy way out in life and see them for the tortured souls they'll become later on.

It is all very well to be cynical about human nature, nothing wrong with it, but whether this post and the comments it got are relevant or not depends on which view one subscribes to.

I always believe it's never too late. And that doing something for the money is not a bad thing at all, because 1) You may not be extraordinarily skilled at the thing you love to make a living out of it, and you do need to eat while you equip yourself with the skills to be decent at that which you love the most, and 2) Even if you are extraordinarily good at something, you might not be able to make a career out of it. So you do something for the moolah and spend the rest of your time indulging in whatever it is that you love.

And yes, I have refrained from addressing the questions,"Why is it necessary to do what you love the most? Why is it necessary to have a purpose in life?" Maybe ideas for a future post!

Languorous_chaos said...

Now that you have so many good ideas for the "future" post, perhaps we can have a post as early in the nebulous future as possible,wot say? ;)