Jilly D.

The Parable of Enough

In Off-The-Grid Memoir on July 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm

A millionaire from Manhattan decided to splurge on a vacation and booked a remote Greek fishing village for a week in July with his loving wife. On their first morning, the millionaire woke late and looked out his cabana onto the beach to find a small fishing dinghy dragging full nets; just returning from an early voyage. He asked the captain whether he always caught so many fish.

The Greek fisherman told the millionaire he always caught the same amount of fish every morning. Some mornings he got back sooner. Some mornings he returned only shortly before noon. He always caught enough fish to eat that day; enough for himself, his wife, his children, his grandchildren, neighbors and a few to sell in the open market to the restaurants and tourist trade.

The millionaire enjoyed his conversation that first morning with the Greek captain.

The second morning the millionaire noticed the same man and pulled him aside when he docked with his daily catch. The millionaire suggested to this happy Greek that if he caught a few more fish when the sun was so early in the sky he would have more to sell and he could make more money. The fisherman laughed gently and said it was something to think about.

The Greek fisherman invited the millionaire to bring his wife to lunch on the beach for a traditional meal. They spent all afternoon on the beach. They drank wine, enjoyed fresh grilled fish, ate olives, fresh baked bread and other wonderful dishes. They sang and danced to the music the Greeks made.

The third morning the millionaire caught up to the Greek putting his nets in his boats. He thanked him for his hospitality. He asked him if he’d thought any more about catching more fish to sell.

The Greek asked him what he should do with all the extra money. The millionaire told him to save it so he could buy another boat. Then he could catch even more fish, sell them and make even more money. What, the Greek asked, would he do with all the money?

The millionaire explained he would soon have enough money to own an entire fleet of ships. What should the Greek do with a fleet of fishing vessels? The Greek knew the answer: I could sell that fleet of ships and with all that money I could afford to retire in a small fishing village where I could fish every morning, eat incredible meals, drink good wine, make love to my wife in the afternoon, take a nap, eat some more, make some music, dance, drink more good wine, sleep as late as I want and enjoy catching just enough fish so that tomorrow there will always be more than enough.

***

Ithaca NY May 29-June 9 2009 Trip 111

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  1. And why are we working so hard? And where’s my fishing village? And what is enough? No need to answer these questions. You have too much to do 😉

    • Answers? Elaine, isn’t it easy to get caught up in the everyday push and rush of work? It’s not easy to rise at dawn, haul the boat out, check the nets, sit quietly in the sun and wait for a fish to take the bait, then struggle to land the catch. The trick is to balance the labor with its rewards in a village where there is enough. Not everything, but enough for each day.

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