Monday, September 5, 2011

A Parable for the Simple Life

Also known as The Tourist and the Mexican Fisherman... author unknown.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village and an American tourist stopped and complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish.  Then he asked how long it took to catch them.

"Not long" answered the Mexican.

"But then why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The fisherman explained that his catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American tourist asked, "What do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village in the evening where I sip wine and play the guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life, señor," the fisherman replied.

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!  You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat.  With the proceeds fishing from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats and eventually you could have a fleet of fishing boats.  Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you could negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.  You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles or even New York City!  From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take" asked the Mexican.

"15, perhaps 20 years" replied the American.

"But what then, señor?"

"That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing.  "When your business gets really big you can start selling stocks and make millions of dollars."

"Millions, señor?  But then what?

The American replied slowly, "Then you would retire!  Move to a small coastal village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandkids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll into the village in the evenings to sip wine and play the guitar with your amigos."

The moral of the story... Happiness isn't found in all the stuff we can acquire, but rather in simple moments and time spent with the family and friends we hold dear.