The Banker & the Fisherman

An American banker was at the pier of a small Mexican coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. In the 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 he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish.
The fisherman 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 fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife Maria. Then I stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”
“I am a Harvard MBA,” the American scoffed. “I could help you. You should spend more time fishing. With the proceeds you could 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 Los
Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you would run your expanding enterprise.”
The fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”
“Fifteen or twenty years.”
“But what then, señor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Millions, señor? Then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandchildren, take siestas with your wife Maria, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

The Folly of Avarice

It is told that in ancient China a Priest had hoarded a fine collection of Jewels, to which he was constantly adding, and of which he was inordinately proud.

One day when he was showing them to a friend, the latter feasted his eyes upon them for some time, and presently, upon taking leave, gratefully thanked his host for the Jewels.

“How is that,” cried the Priest, “you must have misunderstood! I have not given the Jewels to you, why do you thank me?”

“Well,” rejoined his friend, “I have at least had as much pleasure from looking at the Jewels, as you can possibly have. The only difference between us that I can see is that I am free from all care, while you have the trouble of guarding them.”

(Folklore of China. By N. D. Dennys, London, 1876.)