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A large pleasure cruiser docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist got off, and walked along the harbour, ambling up to a middle-aged local fisherman, wizened by many hours sitting under the sun. After a few moments, he complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican in a relaxed and pleasant voice.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the straight forward American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American, who seemed like he was coming around to making a point, asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and help my wife around the house. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

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The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?" asked the Mexican, laconically.

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, 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 middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants, and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise,” he said, filled with enthusiasm.

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"


"Well, my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican, looking out to sea.

"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, and spend your evenings enjoying your friends' company."

The American had a self-satisfied grin on his face, as he was rather smug that he had been able to explain his way of thinking so convincingly to this simple man – and yes he seemed to understand!

The Mexican chuckled and looking him straight in the eye said slowly but emphatically, “Well, that’s what I’m doing now, my friend!

The visitor stopped for a second. He realised he had met his match in this simple man who was actually quite a few steps ahead of him. But, of course, he did not want to show this and simply forced a smile and backed away mumbling some need to get back to his boat.

And the wry Mexican fisherman – well, he just kept on chuckling – wouldn’t you!

Bhagavan Baba has been telling us the same message. He exhorts us to aspire for one thing alone – and that is the Supreme Inner Peace that only God can give us. A life based around the pursuit of money, possessions and physical comforts will never grant us any contentment. That Bhagavan explains only leads to ‘pieces’.

It is in contentment that peace and happiness are present. Who is the richest man? The man with contentment. And who is the poorest man? He who has many desires, says Bhagavan Baba. Let us have a limit on our desires and make our joy limitless.

Illustrations: Ms. Lyn Kriegler Elliott

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 6 Issue 09 - SEPTEMBER 2008
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