A Labor Day Parable
September 5, 2011
I was reading through the links in the ‘Favorite Things About My Town’ link party, and came across this story. I heard this many years ago and couldn’t find it anywhere online until Gina’s post and was so happy to stumble upon it again. I think a lot about where I spend my time, and where I focus my energy. The older I get, I find I value the “stuff” less and simple living much more. No doubt some of you have heard this story before, but I thought Labor Day was a great day to share this favorite.
The Tourist and the Mexican Fisherman
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist got out and complimented the local Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish, then asked how long it took him to catch them.
“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.
“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.
The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American tourist asked,
“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The fisherman replied,
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”
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 from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
“Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can 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?”
“Afterwards? 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!”
“Millions, señor? Then what?”
The American said slowly,
“Then, you would retire! Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
I love the moral of this story! Happiness is not found in all the “stuff” but is found in those moments spent with our loved ones enjoying the simplest pleasures in life. Today, I am celebrating my 12 year wedding anniversary! Today, I am sleeping late, playing with my kids, and strolling through the streets in the evening sipping wine and listening to music with my groom. Wishing you all a blissful day filled with simple pleasures.
Tags: fisherman parable