The Fisherman’s Choice -- A Story by Mr. Brad Michaels
Updated: Nov 16
(Disclaimer: The guest posts do not necessarily align with Philosocom's manager, Mr. Tomasio Rubinshtein's beliefs, thoughts, or feelings. The point of guest posts is to allow a wide range of narratives from a wide range of people. To apply for a guest post of your own, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org)
There was a man that lived by the sea. One day, when he was fishing, a mermaid came to him.
She told him “I have a green peridot stone in my left hand and a sapphire in my right hand. If you choose the peridot, you will be granted wisdom. If you choose the sapphire, you will be granted
The fisherman thought about it for a while, and then decided to choose the sapphire. The
mermaid granted him a wife. He was married to her in a happy ceremony. Family and friends came to their wedding. They were happy, but only for a time.
Then, one day, the woman was crying. “Why don’t you understand me? We have nothing in
common,” she was in tears. The fisherman was taken aback. He thought he provided everything his wife needed. He would catch fish, and sell them for everything they needed in their home. He bought her clothes, food, rugs and tapestries, a nice bed, other necessities, and anything she needed and most of the other things she asked for. What could he have been doing wrong? He thought about this issue for a while.
After thinking about it for a couple weeks, he realized that he was not happy either. The marriage the man had made seemed empty. He did not know why this was, and he lacked the creative thinking skills to figure it out. He had done everything society had asked of him. He had settled down and made a nice life with his spouse. But then, he started thinking about choosing the peridot, the wisdom-attaining choice. He started to wonder about this, and wondered about what wisdom really was. What was it that really characterizes a wise person? He lacked a lot of context.
Shortly after this, his marriage began to fall apart.
He and his wife were always arguing. He was never spending money on the right thing. They had disagreements about how they spent their time. All of his special interests did not line up with hers. The man did not really have an anchor to which he could attach his special interests. He lacked the background to really have pursued anything beyond fishing and the occasional swim. He was lost in a complicated, multi-faceted world.
He had dreamed of starting a merchant business, but he lacked the knowledge about how to do
it. He thought he would be happy at home with his wife, as long as he had someone to spend time with.
He had not thought about working on himself more, so that he would have something to offer a partner, and so that he would know what he really wanted in a partner. After the man had lost his wife, he found himself on the sandy shores again, swimming. He was very sad. He knew he had to take a different path in life.
Which is the correct choice? Let’s say he chooses companionship. Where will this companion
come from? Will it be a real companion, or will it be just the image of one? What is companionship that does not flow from wisdom? Is it real or is it a mirage? If the fisherman chooses companionship, can he expect to get real companionship, or is it nothing more than a fantasy?
Meanwhile, if he chooses wisdom, he can use his wisdom to find a companion that fits to him. It
is only by gaining wisdom and knowledge that we forge ourselves in the crucible of learning to become our highest self. If we were to find love or companionship without being educated or wise, how can we tell if these things are real or fake?
The answer is that we can’t. We lack context and understanding if we do not inform and develop
ourselves using the truths of reality. Without this development to anchor us, we don’t know what kinds of things we really find enjoyable. We need to know ourselves better. We are like lost out to sea. It is only upon building our knowledge and experience that we can find the things we really want out of life.
Mr. Rubinshtein's Note: In the story, the choice of companionship was dumb to begin with, because the fisherman was not given a selection of potential wives to choose from. Thus, his intended wife could've been anyone. It is like picking food in the dark and hoping to get a meal that will be the best for your taste buds. So, from the very beginning, the fisherman's best, long-term choice was to pick wisdom. Therefore, The Fisherman's Choice also teaches us the importance of denying instant gratifications in the name of long-term rewards, using the virtue of patience. How come? Simple: Wisdom improves our ability to plan ahead.