22:31 PM, 7th March 2012, About 10 years ago
Two of my favourite authors write all of their important philosophies in parable style, this is mine.
Once upon a time, a fisherman decided that he no longer wanted to be a wage slave to a trawler captain so he went off to do his own thing. He made a rod and caught and sold a few fish until he’d made enough money to invest into a net. After many years had passed the fisherman started to invest his profits into having his own trawler built, it was the best the fishing industry had ever seen. He went on to be extremely successful and caught as many as 8,000 Tuna a month. He even started his own chain of fishmongers and won many prizes for being one of the most profitable businesses in his country. There were plenty of fishermen around at the time, the fishing industry was good, but none came close to being anywhere near as successful. One day the fisherman met another very successful fishmonger at a celebration dinner for profitable businesses. They remained friends and met up a few times every year to catch up over lunch.
A few years passed and the fishing industry begun to decline due to over fishing. The fisherman decided to close down some of his fishmonger outlets to avoid going out of business. Then one day the fisherman and his trawler got caught in a storm. Many of his crew didn’t survive, others turned against him. The fisherman lost heart and closed down his entire operation, took his money out of the business and decided to do something a bit different. He started to write a book.
The book was very popular, the fisherman shared every page as it was written and others joined in too. Many of the big fish and several other fisherman read every page as the book was written. They told more and more people until the fisherman became very famous. Everybody in the fishing industry wanted to get a mention in the next chapter of the book. The fisherman knew that the fame of his book had the potential to be his next big business.
The fisherman never sold the trawler and he hung on to 80 thousand deep frozen fish. Due to superstitions, very few people wanted to work on that boat, but the fisherman knew that one day the time would be right to refurbish it and re-launch it with a different name and a new crew.
The fisherman did take the trawler out occasionally but following his experiences he only had the will to catch a few hundred Tuna every month and he put them straight into the freezer. Also, as the fishing industry had been in decline, very few people had the money to buy the Tuna, let alone the trawler, even though the fisherman was prepared to sell it very cheap. Times were changing though, the fisherman knew that the over fishing problem was coming to an end.
Then, one day, the fisherman met up with his friend the fishmonger who wasn’t at all happy with his suppliers of fish as they were completely unreliable. Why don’t you buy my trawler said the fisherman. I’ll refurbish it for you, you can even change it’s name if you like. The over fishing problem is nowhere near as bad as it was said the fisherman. The fishmonger agreed. You could easily catch a few thousand tuna every month with my help said the fisherman. The fishmonger could see that too. If you buy the trawler from me I will even help you to recruit the crew if you like AND I’ll even throw in my stock of 80,000 deep frozen fish if you want them.
The fishmonger went away and came back with a different offer. Why don’t you just go back into the fishing business, he said. I’ll buy your fresh fish off you for twice the going rate. That isn’t really what the fishmonger really wants or needs, thought the fisherman. Why wouldn’t the fishmonger want to own the trawler? It’s still by far the best that ever sailed. That’s not what I want either, thought the fisherman, I’m quite happy writing my book. Perhaps I’ll just hang on to the trawler and see what the next few years brings thought the fisherman.