Short Story: The Answer to a Meaningful Life

What makes life more meaningful? (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
What makes life more meaningful? (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Many stories appeal to the Greek people and Greek intellectuals because of their ironic twists.

One such story goes like this…

A fishing boat docked in a tiny Greek village. A tourist complimented the Greek fisherman on the quality of his fish, and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the fisherman.

“But then, why didn’t you stay in the sea longer and catch more?” the tourist asked.

The Greek man explained that his small catch was more than sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?” the tourist asked.

“I fish a little, I sleep late, I play with my children, and I take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, to dance a little, I play the bouzouki, and sing a few songs. I have a full life,” the fisherman explained.

"I fish a little, I sleep late, I play with my children, and a take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, to dance a little, I play the bouzouki and sing a few songs. I have a full life." (Image: Pixabay / CC0)

“I fish a little, I sleep late, I play with my children, and I take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, to dance a little, I play the bouzouki, and sing a few songs. I have a full life.” (Image: Pixabay / CC0)

The tourist interrupted: “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you.

“You should start by fishing all day. Then you can sell the other fish you catch.

“With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money, the larger boat will bring more money and you can buy a second one, and a third one, and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.

“Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants, and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Athens, London, or even New York! From there, you can control your huge enterprise.”

"Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Athens, London, or even New York! From there you can control your huge enterprise." (Image: Pixabay / CC0)

“Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Athens, London, or even New York! From there, you can control your huge enterprise.” (Image: Pixabay / CC0)

“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the tourist.

“And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“Afterwards? That’s when it gets fascinating! When your business operations get really big, you can start selling shares and make millions!” said the tourist.

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“After that, you’ll be ready to retire and go to live in a tiny village near the coast. There you can play with your grandchildren, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and sleep late. In the evenings, you can spend your time singing, dancing, and playing the bouzouki with your friends!”

Written by George Orfanos

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