You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

Live Your Life Wisely?

Published December 15, 2000
Countries: USA
Age Levels: 12 and up

Once a very wealthy an well-educated man was being rowed across a wide river in a boat.  Since the man liked to hear himself talk.  He asked the boatman, "Do you understand math and science?"

"No," said the boatman.  "I have never had time to learn such things."

"You poor man," said the wealthy man in a rude voice.  "You have wasted a quarter of your life.  If you knew math and science, you would be better off.  Have you read the classics?"

"No," answered the boatman humbly. "I was not able to finish school.  I needed to work to feed my family.  I did not learn to read very well and have not read the classics."

"Too bad," said the rich man.  "You have lost half of your life. Reading would have served you well.  Have you traveled to other countries?"

"No," said the boatman.  "I have spent my whole life here on the river."

The wealthy man sneered.  "You have lost 3/4 of your life.  Only by traveling can you live life to the fullest.  You should have stayed in school and got an education like me."

Just then the boatman felt water by his feet.  He looked down and saw that the boat was beginning to sink.  He asked the rich man, "Can you swim?"

"No," answered the rich man.  "I spent my youth in the classroom studying math, science and the classics.  I have spent my adulthood traveling and doing business and growing wealthy.  I did not think swimming was important."

"Oh?" quizzed the boatman.  Then the boatman smiled for the first time. "Then I fear you have lost your whole life.  For the boat is sinking."  Then the boatman dove into the water and swam to safety at the edge of the river.