“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” – Lao Tzu
That has been rattling around in my head for a little while now. It seems like a simple thing. It makes sense, but have you ever actually tried to teach someone how to do something? Not just show them how to do something but actually teach them? It requires an intense amount of attention, skill, observation and patience. You have to demonstrate and listen. You have to observe intensely and try to see what the other person is seeing. I think most people hear that and think, “yeah just teach them how to fish,” but it really means dedicate yourself to that person. You have to become a mentor. Your life becomes intertwined with theirs, even if it is for a short period of time. It is so much easier to just give someone a fish. Most people will get frustrated while trying to teach something and eventually just do it for them. You need a level of mastery to teach someone else how to do something. You have to have the understanding of the subject to break it down into its most simple elements. Minor things become important, like how to hold your wrist or the timing of the cast. I think that quote is often misinterpreted focusing on self-sufficiency, at least that is how I’ve often interpreted it, but now I’m not so sure. When looking into the phrase I found it attributed to many different sources and they all use slightly different wording but one thing was consistent and that was the word “teach.”
And only barely related…