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A story for thought

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1 A story for thought on Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:49 pm


Here is a short story I am rather fond of.


A senior partner of a global management consultancy company suffering from overwork, stress and nervous exhausttion decides to take an extended holiday. He stays at a tiny Mexican fishing village, a long way off the tourist map. Late one afternoon he finds himself in a conversation with a local fisherman. He asks the fisherman about his life.
'Well' the fisherman replies in halting English, 'I sleep late. Take the boat out in the early afternoon and catch enough fish for my family and some more to sell so that I have enough money to buy other kinds of food and a little wine. When the sun goes down I join my friends at the local bar and we drink and we talk. Then I go to bed.'
The consultant is intrigued. 'Why don't you get up earlier, go out in your boat a little longer and catch even more fish to sell?' he asks.
'Why would I want to do that?' the fisherman responds.
'Well, with the extra money you could save up and buy another boat, and employ another fisherman and catch even more fish.'
'So, what would I do then?'
'Well, with the extra money you could continue to buy more boats - maybe a trawler or two - and recruit more fisherman, and before long you would have your own fishing fleet.'
'What then?'
'Then you would have a healthy balance sheet that you could take to a bank or investment company, and you could get financing to buy up other fleets. You could take your company public and trade shares on the New York stock exchange. You could build a fishing empire and think about diviversifying, maybe into a wider agricultural sector or maybe the leisure industry or anything you like. You could become a Fortune 500 company, with your picture on the front of Forbes magazine.'
'What then?'
'Well, hey, you could sell up. You would have a personal fortune. You could live the life of your dreams, with no more stress and worry. You could settle in some little village, sleep late in the afternoon, maybe take a boat out and do some fishing and spend the evenings with your friends at the local bar...'

The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer. - Edward R. Murrow
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