Teach ‘em to fish!

teach them to fishI recently read an article about the hardships so many children will face over the summer months because they will not have access to the government subsidized meals that they get during the school year.

I certainly have compassion for the truly poor in the US and across the world and our family tries to do what we can for the less fortunate. However, as someone wise once said, “Give someone a fish and feed them for a day; teach someone to fish and feed them for a lifetime.” Sometimes, someone just needs a fish. But too many times, I believe we are handicapping those who – given the proper equipping and motivation – would make great fishermen! They need a fishing pole, not a fish!


Photo credit: Benson Kua / Foter / CC BY-SA

2 thoughts on “Teach ‘em to fish!

  1. The owner of a small construction company I once worked for had this saying up on the whiteboard in his office but finished it with an interesting twist:
    “…teach a man to sell and he will eat steak.”
    I have often thought of that phrase when people bring up international aid and vocational programs; it seems to be a piece of the puzzle that is often forgotten. In the context raised here the children may be reaping the consequences of the previous generation’s failure to learn a few important lessons, or maybe the failure of someone to teach them. It is easy to point fingers but how do we provide for those in need in the meantime and what is my role in equipping the next generation?

    • Matthew – I really like your version of the phrase! I agree that we must move beyond finger pointing into action. A great reminder that lives are changed one at a time and most effectively through 1 on 1 relationships. Who am I impacting today?

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