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Editorial

Fisherman and the brothers

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By EMN Updated: Sep 11, 2013 10:12 pm
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[dropcap]E[/dropcap]astern Mirror on September 10, 2013 carried on our front page an exclusive anchor story headlined “Learn to fish and never go hungry.” The story of course did not remotely deal with anything to do with fishing as such. However, the heading was derived based on a Chinese folk tale about two brothers who lived in a remote village but which had a near by lake that was teeming with fish.The brothers lived a idyllic life catching fish every day for their meals. One day, while they were having lunch there was a knock on the door. The younger brother opened to find a beggar with a scrawny arm outstretched. He went and in brought out a plateful of rice and some pieces of both boiled and fried fish.
Since then the beggar would turn up at the right time for his daily lunch. So much so, that the elder brother one day just took the beggar to the lake and taught him the basics of fishing and in no time the beggar became an adept fisherman, or angler. Then one day he disappeared.
Many years went by and then one day the village of the two brothers was excited about the arrival of a chariot followed by a wagon. The owner, obviously very rich judging by his attire and attendants, then asked for the two brothers. When they met, the rich man said to the effect, “You may not remember me but I was the beggar whom you provided food and also taught me how to fish. Since then, I have gone to the coast and eventually built up a fishing empire. Now, I wish to present you both with a gift made of gold.”
The gift was two fishes joined like that of the zodiac sign of Pisces. Since it was only one piece the brothers began to wrangle over its ownership. The village elders decided that since the elder brother had indeed taught the beggar how to fish, the gift was rightfully his. However, the elder brother was magnanimous.
The moral of the story is that if you give someone a meal, you only feed him once; but if you teach him how to fish, or inspire any other latent ability, then you feed him for a life time. From this, the proverb went viral and is used or quoted to emphasize a particular point.
Regarding the word “fish” there are other stories associated with it. There is a Christian song which depicts Jesus telling his disciples at one time or the other, “I will make you fishers of men if you follow me.”
In the Book of Matthew 4: 16-22, Jesus calls four fishermen. As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers who were fishermen, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew, catching fish in the lake with a net. Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch men.” At once they left their nets and left with him.
He went on and saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Jesus called them and they left their nets and father to follow him GNB). Jesus also made one of his disciples catch a fish and it had a coin in its mouth.
There are many stories related to the fish. However, rest assured that there is nothing fishy about them.

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By EMN Updated: Sep 11, 2013 10:12:56 pm