Quitting the Rat Race #7: Lessons from the Mexican Fisherman

Perhaps everyone has heard the story of the Mexican Fisherman. The Mexican Fisherman is the hero of the people who are out of rat race.

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.”

The Mexican Fisherman represents the spirit & essence of people who have quit the Rat Race. While other people are  like the American Businessman who is busy acquiring money & things & is planning to rest & relax later, a day which might come or not come. The Mexican Fisherman is happy in the present, the American Businessman is chasing happiness in the elusive future.

 “Man…sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” ~The Dalai Lama (when asked what surprises him the most about humanity)

About these ads

October 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Consumerism, Happiness, Hmm..., Humor, Meaning of Life, My lifestyle, My Values, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Slacker-Sutras, Slacking, Teaching Stories, Wisdom.

7 Comments

  1. Vikram Karve replied:

    One of my favorite stories.
    Better not to enter the rat race itself like the fisherman than to enter and then try to quit.

  2. ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

    You are so right Vikram..but perhaps sometimes we realize it’s viciousness only after getting into it.

  3. etomczyk replied:

    Loved your post. I wrote a similar one this week called “The Last Day of My Life” which is a humorous conversation with Death. I wrote it because I’m 63, type A personality, and I have had it! I’m trying my best to change my ways and really connect with life. So glad to read your post and to be reminded that I’m not alone in this journey. Cheers!
    http://www.howthehelldidienduphere.wordpress.com

  4. Quitting the Rat Race #9: Don’t be A DINK, DITK, DIOK « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

    [...] Quitting the Rat Race #7: Lessons from the Mexican Fisherman (ritusthoughtcatcher.wordpress.com) [...]

  5. Quitting the Rat Race #10: Finding Joy in Chopping Wood & Carrying Water! « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

    [...] Quitting the Rat Race #7: Lessons from the Mexican Fisherman (ritusthoughtcatcher.wordpress.com) [...]

  6. Fisherman And The Jinnee | A Fishermans Life replied:

    [...] Tales from the Thousand and One Nights $12.99 A selection of the tales told by Shahrazad in an attempt to save her life, including "The Young Woman and Her Five Lovers," "The Fisherman and the Jinnee," "The Historic Fart," and "The Tale of Kafur the Black Eunuch.. Mouse here for Related LinksQuitting the Rat Race #7: Lessons from the Mexican Fisherman [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 111 other followers

%d bloggers like this: