Life is easier when things are done for us. But maturity requires us to learn how to fish and not just passively accept what others give us.
There’s a time to receive and a time to own our part – eventually contributing to the wellbeing of others as well.
No one expects a young child to figure out how to provide food and shelter for himself. His parents rightly do this for him and all he has to do is receive it.
But over time we expect him to take on increasing responsibility – learning how to fish and not always waiting on his parents to do for him.
And there comes a point when he’s not only fishing for his own sake, but he’s giving back to his community as well.
We understand this principle generally when it comes to work. And we readily get jobs and provide for our families.
But it applies throughout life.
For instance, even in school, did we learn how to learn or simply how to pass the test? When we don’t learn how to fish we remain depended on others to tell us how the world works rather than discovering what is true for ourselves.
And this leads to bad faith – passively adopting the opinions of others and not doing the work to discover what we actually believe.
This also plays out relationally.
While there’s a lot we can learn from others, good relationships don’t just happen. We must still put in our sweat equity in order to grow. And waiting on others to do our work for us leaves everyone frustrated.
In the end, we still need the support of our village, but we don’t neglect the responsibilities given to us.
Don’t just consume. Learn how to fish and do your part to bring more life and goodness into the world around you.