Katha Sagara

The fisherman and the learned tourist

Once a tourist met a fisherman on the coast of a beach. Looking at the type of fish he had caught, the tourist asked him how long it had taken him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the fisherman.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the tourist.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet the needs of his family.

The tourist asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?

“I do not do much. I sleep soundly, fish a little, relish the food I eat everyday, play with my children, enjoy time with my family and friends and lead a simple life.”

The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from the best Institute in the country and I can help you change your lifestyle. You should begin by fishing for a longer time every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch.

And with the extra revenue from a large catch, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“With the extra money the larger boat and more catch will bring, you can buy a second and maybe even a third boat and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to some other city. From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well, my friend, that is when it gets really interesting,” chuckled the tourist, “when your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep soundly, play with your children, catch a few fish, relish the food you eat and spend time with your friends and family.”

“With all due respect sir, but that is exactly what I am doing now. So what is the point wasting 25 years of my life?” asked the fisherman.

To Reflect Upon

bulletWhat is real happiness?