A reading habit way early in childhood gave me an opportunity to explore the anecdotes and passages from many unknown authors who shaped up my thought process and my spiritual enhancement.So today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite story which has been my lodestar ever since I read it as a young lad of 15.
This piece is a take on oft-quoted idiom,
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
The story takes place along a great river where a huge tree had fallen into the rushing waters. So large was this tree that a man could walk onto it and fish for his meal. And it came to pass one day that a great sage decided to sit upon this log to collect his ration of food for the day.
After fishing for a long period of time, the sage finally caught a fair-sized fish. With great satisfaction, he placed it carefully on the log beside him. A young man who was passing by with his wife and two children saw this and guardedly approached the sage. He asked for the fish explaining that his family was in need of food.
The old sage happily offered to teach the man how to catch his own fish, but he was quickly rebuked for his offer. The man was not interested in learning a skill. He merely wanted some food.
The old sage remained fast in his resolution to offer only his teachings and sent the man on his way. All the while, he continued to fish. Soon, the sage caught another larger fish. Seeing this, the young man hurried back onto the log. He beseeched the sage to give him a fish, as he surely had more than enough for himself.
The sage grew perplexed, wondering if it made sense to give this young man a fish. After all, he really did have more than enough.
As the sage contemplated this dilemma, a light appeared at the end of the fallen tree. At first, the greatness of this light frightened the sage for he had only heard of such manifestations in ancient stories handed down by his teachers. The light began to overwhelm him with an energy he had never before experienced. Filled with awe, the old sage heard a booming voice addressing him. The light spoke to him with such calm and beauty that the sage immediately knew he was in the presence of a great and wondrous teacher.
And the light spoke.
“Old sage, allow me to express a thought. If you choose to build upon it, it will change your life for all time to come.
“First, take from your pocket the sharpening file that you have carried with you for so long. While we speak, begin to sharpen the hook that you have tied to your line. Sharpen the hook like no other in the world. Make it so sharp that when the fish takes it in its mouth, it feels no pain. Then, when you are ready, pray with me the following:
I call on the Creator to help me search out the oldest fish in the river that is ready to leave this dimension, for it has experienced all it came to experience. In that Light, guide it to my line. Knowing the fish’s life plan is complete and that I have sharpened my hook so well, we join together to fulfill our journeys.
When the light finished speaking, the sage cast his newly sharpened hook into the water. Moments later, he caught a fish of the greatest proportions. But before the old sage could begin to celebrate his newfound clarity, the light spoke again.
“If you look on the shore, you will find a string of lighter weight. If you attach your hook to this lighter string, the hook will reach deeper parts of the river. This will allow you to catch even larger fish.”
The old sage did as the light suggested. His efforts were rewarded again by landing a fish ever so large. Then another fish, and yet another.
He thought this was as good as it might get until the light offered still more guidance. The light told him to concentrate on his wrist. By flexing his wrist more when casting his line, he could send the hook out even farther.
All too soon, the pile of fish was so large that the sage felt fulfilled in his accomplishment. He set aside the fish for his meals that day. The others, he released back in the water.
Then the sage recalled the young man who had asked for a fish. He noticed that the young man was on the shore not far away. Surely, he thought, the man will ask for a fish again.
To his wonderment, he saw that the young man was busily sharpening his own hook.
Inference Drawn: We, like sage was at the beginning sometimes adhere to the quotation too fastedly about teaching someone, who we think, something must be taught. We in all our goodness offer our genuine advice, which we might have worked upon with greatest of struggles and it might be a concentrate of all our experiences throughout our life, and they turn a deaf ear to it. The agony we feel at the sudden contempt of our alleged wisdom is so much that some persons start feeling bad about it. This story has a message for the persons like them. Everyone learns from their own experiences and other’s piece of wisdom don’t count much for them. Like in the story, the young man might be knowing how to fish and what he wanted was to borrow fish. So, rather than distributing free advice to unwilling listeners we should focus our energy on sharpening our own hooks, ie we should always be a learner, trying to perfect what we already know and learning new things in between. Everyone will sharpen their hook in their own sweet time, so cherish what you know and build upon it to create a better world.
Wonderful story prankies.
Well this topic has been long in our blog…and you have well structured it again.
and I am reminded of something I wrote few days back
समझी ही नहीं नासमझी भी ज़िन्दगी है जी लो यारो यही तो ज़िन्दगी है
जब कोई समझता है तो समझ नहीं आती है और जब समझ आ जाये तो किसी तीसरे को हमसे समझी नहीं जाती है,शायद सबका सहीं वक़्त होता है,सही वक्त पर हर किसी की ज़िंदगी खुद ही सुलझ जाती है
As far as free advice and micromanaging others affairs is concerned,you correctly said we should give more energy on sharpening our own hook but just saying something which striked my mind….like your story had guiding light, if you get a chance to be someone’s guiding light whats wrong in that,just make sure you don’t over guide and harm your own hook or don’t allow them to use their own mind to sharpen the hook..
but giving a “genuine advice” and leaving it completely on the person to choose to follow advice or not is not at all bad.
Sharpen your own hook is like a better term for ” mind your own business” but the thing is we all are having business under the same market,so somewhere there is no harm in interfering if both parties are comfortable and neither is getting harmed.
This is I guess what is termed as empathy,compassion and mutual resonance.
but yes totally agreed charity begins at home so,first one should sharpen own hooks.
A good write up dear👌👌👌
Keep scribbling Prankies
Happy reading readers
Yours loving warrior