The Seeds of a Simple Life
There’s an old Brazilian tale about an American business man, who, whilst on holiday in a small fishing village notices a local man taking in his catch of the day. The business man decides to approach the man and ask him about his work.
He asks the man how long it took him to catch the fish and the fisherman explains that it only took a short time. The business man asks why he doesn’t stay out longer and catch more? The man replies that he catches enough to feed his family, goes home, plays with his kids, has a nap with his wife and then spends the evening in the village with his buddies drinking wine and playing guitar.
The businessman tells him he has a PHD in business and he advises the fisherman to spend more time fishing, use the profits to buy a bigger boat and then catch even more fish to sell across the country. Then what? The fisherman asks. Then you can buy more boats, and increase your profits and start canning your fish for the international market. Than what? Asks the fisherman. Then you can live like a king and spend your days with your family and party the nights away playing guitar with your buddies....
Suffice to say, the moral probably rings true for most of us. Our time spent with loved ones and doing the things we enjoy is usually enough to make us happy. The level of complexity we introduce to our lives in order to make that happen, varies And often we need to remind ourselves of the simplicity of the goal.
For me, moving to New Zealand was not just about finding work and a living somewhere that wasn’t crippled by the 2008 economy meltdown, it was also, to be honest, to enjoy a lifestyle of beaches and forest. To distance myself from the hectic pace of big dense cities and enjoy a simple life.
Now don’t get me wrong, a vibrant city life is possible in NZ, but walking down Queen Street in the middle of Auckland one would never expect to find a lush green paradise fringed with gloriously empty black sand beaches pounded by quality surf not 60 minutes away.
These days, in between family, work and all the other beautiful chaotic elements of life, I try to maintain simplicity in two things: growing food and surfing. The short film below captures a little bit of both. Nothing overly dramatic about it. Just pulling some delicious greens that I grew out of the ground and stealing away for a few waves. Both endeavours remind me of why I came here in the first place.
Enjoy, and thank you for your precious time.
Full version of the Brazilian story: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2015/09/04/the-fisherman-and-the-businessman/