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Rich or Poor…End Result The Same

An American businessman was at the pier of a tiny coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied that it only took 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, take siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening to relax and play guitar with my amigos.”

The American scoffed, “You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. Eventually you could buy several boats and end up with a fleet. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would then need to leave this coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually to New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” the Mexican asked. To which the American replied “15 to 20 years.” “But what then?” the fisherman asked. 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,” the fisherman said, “Then what?” The American said, “Then you would retire, move to a tiny coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandchildren, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could relax and play your guitar with your amigos.”

In another story Charles Kuralt had come to know fame due to his “On the Road” TV series. But he knew humility first and occasionally got reacquainted with it.

The TV journalist started modestly as a newspaper reporter in North Carolina. After he came to CBS and began “On the Road” features he soon found that fame was sometimes elusive. He would introduce himself in small towns and say he was part of Walter Cronkite’s news team, but convincing people that he was with CBS was difficult.

Eventually his face became well known to TV viewers. He was thinking about that one day as he stood in the doorway of the big white motor home in which he traveled. It was parked on the street in a small Midwestern town. Kuralt was squinting into the early morning sun enjoying his first cup of coffee of the day.

A petite elderly lady came towards him and he waited expectantly for the recognition he felt was on the way. She looked at him and said very sweetly, “I would like two loaves of rye bread unsliced please.” Wonder what Kuralt’s reaction to that was being the modest person he was.

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