Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Parable for Labor Day

The Mexican Fisherman by Dr. Mark Albion

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had 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, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senior.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could 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 boats, eventually you would 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 need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senior, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senior?”

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senior? Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would 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, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


Susan Sevig said...

Very good read, Mary. I have found this very common. An American travels to a foreign country and instead of breathing in all the values and traditions that that country presents, he tries to change things as it is done in America. Such a wrong attitude. Travel to see how others live and you will learn so much more. And my biggest pet peeve, do not try to stand out as an American. Try to blend in and become a part of where you are. WOW...I sure went off subject, but I know you understand.

Manu said...

Thanks for this beautiful post!!!

Susan Lindquist said...

... only the children will have grown and flown, the wife will be lonely and estranged from all the years of work separation, and the money will be empty comfort. A thought-provoking read, Mary!

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