The simple fisherman

By: Lucell Larawan

A FILIPINO-American friend, Jake Quimpo, told me the following story.

An American businessman who vacationed in Mexico came across a local fisherman with a small boat full of fish. He asked how long it took him to catch all those fish, to which the fisherman replied, “Only for a short time.”

“Why not stay out and catch more?” the American asked.

“No thanks. This is all my family needs,” said the fisherman.

“Then what do you do with the rest of your time?” the American queried.

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my kids, take a siesta, stroll into the village, play guitar, and sip wine with my friends. I have a full and happy life.”

The American explained that as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree holder, he can help the small fisherman. He proposed: “You should spend more time fishing and buy a bigger boat. With the income from the bigger boat, you can buy a fleet of boats. Instead of selling to a middleman, you can sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. After that, you can move to Mexico City and New York where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

“How long will all this take?” the fisherman wondered.

“Twenty to thirty years of hard work,” the American replied. “But then comes the best part! You announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become rich. You will make millions.”

“And then what?” asked the simple fisherman.

“You can retire to a small fishing village in Mexico, sleep late, play with your kids, play guitar, and sip wine with your friends,” the businessman retorted.

The fisherman, a bit confused, asked, “Isn’t that what I’m doing right now?”