Reader’s Share: “Success”

Here’s a story that was shared with me recently be a friend with the message: “I hope all is well with you and that you are able embrace and enjoy your life :-)”

Im extending that same message to all of you.

Success

An 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 yellow fin 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, senor.

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 senor, how long will this all take?” To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

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, senor?  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.”

— Author Unknown

What does “Success” mean to you?

Because sometimes, we really might just have everything we need…

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW

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Written by

I'm a Social Worker, Educator, and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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2 Responses

  1. Geof says:

    I answered a survey from my high school a couple of weeks ago where I was wasked what in my life makes me feel most successful. My definitions for success have certainly changed since I graduated high school. Back then, all I wanted was job where I would make enough money for money not to be the reason I couldn’t buy something I really wanted or thought I needed. Then, it morphed to “I will know I’ve made it in life when a trip to a hotel means I have to do without some of the nicer things at my home instead of the nights in a hotel feeling like a luxuary.”

    Now, success is realizing that while my time and attention may be the most valuable things I have to offer my kids, all that I give them is returned to me magnified and multiplied as if seen in some carnival mirrors in a mad house.

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