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The Boy Who Did Nothing
There was a young boy who idled away his time doing his favorite hobby — fishing. A wealthy merchant, new to the town, has some pearls of wisdom for the young chap!
There was a cozy little village in a beach-town, far off from the cities. The village was known for its scenic-beauty and many tourists visited this little village during the Summer. The people in the village were happy country-folks who lead very simple lives.
A young boy by the name Ravi lived in this little village. Ravi finished his basic education, dropped out of school and made a living by helping his father in his own small ways. Ravi’s favorite hobby was fishing and he would spend entire days fishing by the riverside.
A wealthy merchant visited the little village for his vacation and happened to notice the young chap who spent all his time happily-fishing. He noticed that the young boy would carry only a few fishes after an entire day of fishing. So one day he decided to confront the young boy and advice him about how to get ahead in life.
“Hey there, young boy, What is your name?” The wealthy merchant asked. Ravi looked at the stranger confused. “Me? My name is Ravi” he said.
“I couldn’t help but notice that your catch for the day is not much. You caught only, say 5 or 6 fishes?” the wealthy merchant mused. Ravi was puzzled and replied “Yes, Sir. That is true. I caught 5 fishes today. I had a good day.”
The merchant asked “How long did it take for you to catch these many fishes?”. Ravi replied “Not very long”. Ravi was not very comfortable answering the strange man.
“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the merchant. Ravi explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The merchant asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” Now Ravi was also curious to see what this conversation was about. He replied honestly “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my siblings, spend time with my family and friends.”
The merchant suggested, “I have gone to many schools and colleges and many people pay me huge money for advising them! But I will give you my advice for free. You should start by fishing for a longer time every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra money, you can buy a bigger boat.”
“Okay, and after that?” asked the young boy.
“You can fish for longer time and even go out to the sea in your bigger boat.” The merchant said. “Oh really? And after that?” asked Ravi
Merchant replied, “With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second boat and a third one and so on and have an entire fleet of boats.” The merchant continued excitedly, “Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the markets or sell for huge profits in far-off markets. You can then leave this little village and move to a big city. From the comforts of the city, you can direct your huge new enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” asked Ravi.
“Twenty-five, perhaps thirty years,” replied the merchant.
“And after that?”
“Afterwards? Well my friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” chuckled the merchant, “When your business gets really big, you can be very powerful and do anything you want – just like me!”
“Wowww.. After all this what would I possibly want?” asked the young boy.
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, spend time with your friends and family”
“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what I am doing now. So what’s the point wasting 30 Years?” asked Ravi.
If you know what you want, getting there is easy!!
(This story has been edited to adapt to the taste of early readers)