Manataka American Indian Council





By Manataka Elder, The Rev. Dr. Fred D. Wilcoxson PhD



“Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.” ~Black Elk, Oglala Sioux, Holy Man


When we grow up we believe that being grown up means a more complex life, more of this and more of that. We are graded on how well we perform, what we have amassed, or how far under budget we are. Children see the value in joyfully playing in a pasteboard box or chasing a reflected light. Use the wisdom of your childhood to temper the lusts of age. Go see if you can find that pasteboard box, open it up, and slide down the hill. Take the time to enjoy life, have faith, trust, and hope… and most of all love.


The Fisherman and the Business Man

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite a few big fish.


The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”


“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.


“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.


The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”


The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”


The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. “I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”


The fisherman continues, “And after that?”


The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”


The fisherman asks, “And after that?”


The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”


The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?


But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18.6 ESV


Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Luke 18:17 ESV


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