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The fisherman's story


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Once upon a time, in a far far away country, there was a rich CEO.


The man, aged of 60, found some spare time in the year to spend a few days away from his succesfull company. That man, rich as he was, had everything he could dream off: A 5-starr hotel, chicks, a Lamborghini and of course a gigantic yacht where he'd party all day and night. All of this was rightfully earned, since the man worked his butt off for his entire life. He was glad that he could finally take pleasure in his possessions. When you run a company like the one he does, free time isn't something that grows on trees ! Anyway, the old man was almost retired and about to enjoy the fruits of his lifework !


That evening he eventually grew tired of the ongoing party, so he decided to go for a walk on the beach. Nothing better then the relaxing sounds of the wild sea ! And so he left the hotel.On his way, the old man saw the silhouette of what appeared to be a person, lying next to a palmtree. Bored as he was, the old man made his way to the man lying next to the palmtree, in hope to find someone to chat with.




The old CEO greated the man and asked him what he was doing.


The man appeared to be a fisherman who took a break from his work, in order to withness the breathtaking landscape.

"Shouldn't you be on a boat trying to catch some fish right now ?" asked the old man.

"Why would I ?" answered the fisherman while looking up at his interlocutor.

"Well obviously to catch some fish I guess" said the old man with a somewhat sarcastic tone.


"Oh that ... I've already all the fish I need to nourish my family" the fisherman said. He turned his head away and continued his sightseeing.


That's where the old man tryed to use his experience as CEO to argue with the fisherman: "I get that, but let me tell you something. If you'd get more fish, you'd be able to sell the surplus for a decent price !"


Surprised about the CEO's idea, the fisherman asked: "And what would I do with that money ?"


"Well you could buy a new fisherboat and improve your fishingoutput"


The fisherman looked up again and remained quiet for a few seconds. He stared the old man in the eyes. "But what would be the advantage to increase my output ?"


The old man chaked his head, as if the fisherman still didn't get the purpose of his reasoning."Well my friend, you could increase your wage even more. With some time and perseverance you could buy a whole FLEET of fishingboats"


"I guess that owning such a fleet would make me very rich" said the fisherman.


"EXACTLY !" yelled the old man, finally getting to his conclusion. "Do you get it now ?"


Yet, the fisherman remained full of incomprehension: "Not really" he said.


"With all that money that you'll have earned, you'll eventually be able to buy all the things I got. You'll be as wealthy and happy as me" said the old man proudly. "And in the end, you'll be able to retire with a nice amount of cash and ... enjoy life"


Both men looked at eachother without pronouncing a word. The fisherman looked away and stared at the horizon. That's where he said:

"Isn't that what I'm already doing, right now?"





Do YOU get the morale of my story ?

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I've heard this one... the primitivist argument.


And what about when he needs money for dental work or serious medical expenses? Or to send his kids off to school so they can have the choice?


Making money and enjoying life are very much intertwined, not mutually exclusive.


The story was an unrealistic and fictional happening to illustrate my point: Money is great, but it doesn't have to be the finality in our lifes. In the end, we all end up equal and die.


Ever saw the movie ? I know it's only a movie but it shows you how a humble man's life is getting destroyed by money.


But I do understand your point. I won't deny the fact that money IS important. But to what extend ? I know people who just live to pay their burrial ...

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Every person has the ability to find what makes them the happiest and then go in that direction, every single person. I had nothing but a small child and the clothes on my back, but I went back to school and am now preparing to finish my Master's. Yes, if I can do it; broke, sad, and dejected, anyone can.

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Unrealistic as the story is I do still think it has value. Everything is geared for the accumulation of wealth, from government policies to individual goals. The free market / capitalism might (or might not - this is very debatable) be the most efficient system but it is definitely not equitable, and takes no account of achievements that are not money based. Lots of people have criticised the current "greed" based system in the world today including Nobel Prize winning economist J K Galbraith. Look where it has gotten us, the endless pursuit of more money lead to serious world problems where banks accross the world had to be bailed out, vast sums of taxpayer money was used to float failed private sector companies and unemployment has reached all time highs. In our endless pursuit for more money we fail to work on things that enhance our civilisation, our happiness, and our well-being. Sure we do work towards these goals but they are very poor second best to our over all directive of more money, more output and more GDP.

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