The Future Is Downshifted!

Trust me, our future will be less busy, less driven, more relational and more simple…just wait, you will see!
What is simple living? Read on…

The fisherman’s story (a downshifting proverb)

An American businessman was at a pier in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.

The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while.

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican 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 Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and, with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

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,

“senor? Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

“But Senor, I am doing that right now !!!!! Why should I waste 15 or 20 of the best years of my life going thru all this ?????”

Taken from Downshifting Downunder


3 thoughts on “The Future Is Downshifted!

  1. A thought came into my head last night as I pondered the whole “downshifting” thing. It all sounds so good (for example the Mexican’s description of his day) that satan may take us on a pendulum swing in the opposite direction from doing “too much” for “the church”, to just sleeping late and hanging around with mates. I think one of the reason’s that “busyness” seems good is that it prevents the need for us to really think about what we are CHOOSING to do with our time. At the risk of trying to “read into” a simple proverb – where is the PURPOSE in the fisherman’s life? My personal challenge is to not just use space I create in my life for life to become ‘less stressful’ and ‘more comfortable’, but to use that space to give God more room to speak to me and through me. As someone who is more of a ‘do-er’ than a ‘be-er’ I’m not sure how that looks.
    I think a way that Christ’s followers can stand out in the ‘downshifting/ simple living/ slow-food’ movement is by taking up extra opportunities to be outwardly focussed, rather than just finding more time to spend with ‘the wife and kids’.
    Another thought that just came to me is that perhaps as we become more responsible for our own energy supplies etc etc, ‘free’ time will again be reduced – who knows.

  2. True – re last comment, but I would hope that the focus on ‘hunting and gathering’ our energy suply and local vegi garden etc would be done in local community, not locked away in my back yard…although there is no doubt that we need to make that happen, I think many people like to lock themselves away from people. Thanks for your comments Chris V…sounds a lot like someone I live with???

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