Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fresh Fish

                              A fisherman set up a stall to sell fresh fish to tourists visiting a fishing harbour. In front of his new stall, he placed a large board displaying the words, ‘FRESH FISH SOLD HERE’ to attract prospective buyers. Several customers came to buy fish from his stall.
                            One of his customers made a suggestion, “The board is large and readable. But it is too long. The word ‘HERE’ is unnecessary as the board is quite close to the stall. It may be deleted to make the board short and sweet.” The seller found that the suggestion was logical. So he erased the last word. Now the board read, ‘FRESH FISH SOLD’.
                            Later another customer gave a novel suggestion: “The word, ‘SOLD’ is not needed on the board as fishes are displayed here for sale and not for exhibition.” The seller agreed and deleted the word, ‘sold.’ Now the board read ‘FRESH FISH.’
                            Some time later, a new customer examined the board and gave his opinion, “The word ‘FRESH’ need not be displayed publicly as you sell only fresh fish and not rotten fish. It is an insult to other sellers in this area.” The seller readily agreed and modified the board. It now had only one word, ‘FISH.’
                            Another person visited the stall after sunset. He said, “The smell of your fish can be felt all around this stall. I had no difficulty to locate it though your board was not clearly visible in the dim light. It is not essential to place the board, ‘FISH’ here.” The seller accepted the suggestion and removed the last letter from the board.
                             The next day, his business was dull. New customers could not identify the stall easily as the board was blank. They went to other stalls in the area. The fisherman’s fate was the result of responding to every suggestion from others. People are lavish in showering advices and critical comments. We must apply our wisdom to identify the relevant, reasonable and acceptable advices.
                             We must have correct concepts and convictions about values and principles of life. Then nobody can mislead us.
© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally and Leo. S. John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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