“Give a man a fish
and you feed him for a day;
teach a man to fish
and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The origin of this quote is as uncertain as it is true. It has been offered as a Chinese proverb, Native wisdom, and has been attributed to several philosophers (or songwriters).
They are telling words, so it matters less where the phrase came from, and more about what it means.
We live. We learn. We all need to learn something, despite all we have taken in so far. We are students of life, as much as we are teachers. Whether we learn the lessons or share the knowledge, we benefit from either angle.
To pass on what you know, to teach what you can, is to give a gift. To receive wise words or instruction from a peer, a professor, or a stranger is to participate in a process as natural and as necessary as breathing.
We should always be learning, it allows us to grow, to see the world with new eyes. It teaches us acceptance and gives us the strength and the substance to survive another day, and to even make it last a lifetime.
We should always be teaching. Even the little things we have picked up along the path can strengthen the resolve of another human being.
By sharing we all become a little bit closer, and a lot wiser. Don’t be afraid to share, it can only build equity in the life we are trying to live.
Don’t turn down words of advice from others. They may not serve you right now, or might not be what you need to know right then, but it may well assist you in the future. It is amazing how much value there is to memory and hindsight.
When it comes to wisdom, it’s okay to eat for today, but it is even more nutritious to remain hungry for a lifetime.