There once was a very rich man who had many sons. The Rich Man loved his sons very much and it was his greatest wish that all his sons learn to fish. He searched far and wide across the lands to find someone who could teach his sons to fish. After many months of searching, he found two men he thought most able to teach his sons: the Educated Man and the Business Man.
The Educated Man had spent years and years in school, learning all there was to know about fishing. Once he considered his own education complete, he began to teach others.
The Business Man never went to school. He was given a fishing pole and boat at a very early age and taught himself how to fish. He was very successful and bought more fishing poles and boats and hired other people to use them. He eventually began to make his own fishing poles and boats and sold them to other fishermen. Business was good.
The Rich Man hired the Educated Man and the Business Man to teach his many sons to fish. Both of them agreed and both of them were successful. The Rich Man’s sons leaned to fish and he has happy.
Some time later, the Rich Man stopped by his Neighbor’s house to visit.
“I am troubled,” said the Neighbor to the Rich Man.
“Why so?” asked the Rich Man. “My sons are learning to fish. Join me in my happiness.”
“Alas,” said the Neighbor, “it is because of your sons that I am troubled.”
“This cannot be so!” exclaimed the Rich Man. “Please tell me what they have done to trouble you so.”
“They learn to fish from the Business Man. He does not teach them the best way to fish. He teaches them to fish so they must use his fishing poles and boats.”
“My friend!” cried the Rich Man. “What you say is not true! He teaches my sons well! So does the Educated Man. All my sons catch very good fish. It doesn not matter which one teaches them.”
The Neighbor could not be persuaded.
“I do not trust the way the Business Man teaches,” he told the Rich Man, “I will not buy fish from you.”
The Rich Man was greatly distressed. He believed the Business Man to be a vey fine teacher and did not wish for him to be dismissed. He went to the Business Man with a plan.
“I do not want you to stop teaching my sons,” said the Rich Man to the Business Man, “but I also do not want to be out of favor with my Neighbor. From now on, you must work together with the Educated Man to teach my sons. You may not do so on your own. Then I will tell my neighbor, ‘Look! The Business Man does not teach my sons on his own. He and the Educated Man work together.”
The Business Man was saddened by the plan, but agreed to do as the Rich Man wished as he was very fond of teaching his sons.
The next day, the Business Man went to the Educated Man.
“Here is how I teach the Rich Man’s sons to fish,” said the Business Man. “Tell me how you teach the Rich Man’s sons so that we may work together.”
“You have a fine plan,” replied the Educated Man. “We will use it and teach the Rich Man’s sons together.”
“But have you nothing else to offer?” asked the Business Man. “No plan of your own to contribute?”
“You have a fine plan,” repeated the Educated Man. “I will add my personal seal to it so that all will know I approve and know we are teaching together.”
And so, the Educated Man and the Business Man continued to teach the Rich Man’s sons. They learned to fish and the Rich Man was happy.
Awhile later, the Rich Man returned to visit with his Neighbor. The Neighbor was happy to see him and welcomed him with open arms.
“My friend!” cried the Neighbor. ” I see that all of your sons are now taught to fish under the seal of the Educated Man! The Business Man no longer teaches any of them on his own! I will now buy all of my fish from you!”
“That pleases me greatly,” said the Rich Man, “but dear Neighbor, I must confess: I see little that is different now, than before.”
“The difference,” replied the Neighbor, “is that now, I am happy.”