Your money… or your life?

May 18, 2009

I first used this story in a MySpace blog about two years ago, but in view of current events, it seems even more relevant today. The people who run our governmental and economic systems have (finally) been uncovered as self-serving and corrupt,  and  the law-enforcers they use to keep us in check have been shown to be equally corrupt, and bully-boys to boot (pun intended).

Though the media is regaling us daily with tales of how truly dreadful  this recession is and how we’re all doomed, I actually feel quite optimistic about what’s occurring. A system where the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else is obviously seriously imbalanced and plain wrong, and it’s about time that everyone had their eyes opened to what some of us have known all along – that we’ve been sold a pack of lies for no other reason than to keep us fuelling the gravy train for a select few. If we want to construct a new system based on fairness and equality, then the old one must first be destroyed and that’s what I believe is happening now.

I’m currently working on a series of articles which will explore in more depth why our current system doesn’t work and what we as individuals can do to bring about change  (again, I first drafted these articles a couple of years ago, but they seem even more pertinent today). In the meantime, enjoy this little tale which takes a sideswipe at a culture which promotes working till you drop for the sake of cold hard cash – just so you can buy stuff to compensate for wasting your best years working till you drop – as a credible lifestyle choice…

An American investment banker arrived at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village just as a small boat with one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it had taken him to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The American then asked the fisherman why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican explained that he had caught 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 siesta with my wife, Maria, and 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 was excited to think of how he could help this little fisherman achieve success and financial freedom, with just a few simple steps. “I am a Harvard MBA and can 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 more boats, and eventually, 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 also need to leave this village for a while and move to Mexico City, then L.A., 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 to 20 years.”

“But what then?”

The American laughed. “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you announce a stock sale, sell your company stock to the public, and become very rich. You would make millions!”

“Millions….? Then what?”

The American explained, “Then you could retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings to sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”

source: Spirituality for Dummies by Sharon Janis


One comment

  1. It is so true, that story, and makes us wonder why we work our fingers to the bone, when everything we need is right in front of us.

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