Intrinsic Purpose

There was a big city businessman who once went on holiday to a faraway beach. One day he walked past a local fisherman who was lazing around, with his fishing rod in the water, enjoying the sun and a beer.

The city man’s mind went to work immediately. The fishing spot was a gold mine, and a serious fishing business would thrive in the area. “Why are you so stupid?” he asked the fisherman. “Get some boats, hire some extra hands, and in a few years you will turn your little shop into a million-dollar business!”

The local man asked him. “And what would you do once you have a million dollars?”

The city man stared back blankly. “Why, I would have so much free time I could sit around in the sun all day and drink beer!”

Again, this idea might seem so basic that it doesn’t need repeating. And yet it is resisted by many people as a knee-jerk reaction. I remember a speaker at a seminar once, who simply stated that one can be happy even if they are financially poor. That statement was met with a lot of sarcastic comments from the audience. And yet is it really so hard to believe?

A basic level of material resources are needed, yes. But beyond that, it really makes no difference. So why do we resist it or even feel the urge to attack such a statement? What does it challenge inside us? If one honestly tries to answer these questions, the answers can be revealing.

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