Rather Than Wanting To Be Taught How To Fish, Too Many People Feel They’re Just Entitled To Everyone Else’s “Fish”

It’s faster. It’s easier. It requires less work on our parts. There’s little to no time to be taught; just “do it for me.”

That’s the way it is for many people. The notion of being “taught how to fish” is far too inconvenient. Many would rather just be given fish.

As attractive and quick as it is to just be given “fish” whenever I need something, I would MUCH rather be taught how to fish. Even before I first learned the phrase, “You give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” I was still interested, without necessarily knowing for sure, that I’ve always wanted to be TAUGHT how to fish rather than just being given fish whenever I wanted.

Maybe it was partly due to my own stubbornness, but unless I really needed help, I just didn’t like people doing things for me. At some point earlier than I can remember today, someone actually showed me how to do something. I must have loved it, because that’s my first mindset when it comes to just about anything today.

However…not everyone else thinks that way. These days, people just want the fish. Don’t teach me anything; just GIMME.


Sometimes, it’s feasible that a fish is just given to someone. It could be due to time constraints, the fact that maybe something will be known to be done only one time, or there may very well be plans to “teach” at some point later on and the time just isn’t there at the moment.

However, we all know that’s not what I’m talking about here, right?

It’s the sense of entitlement that so many people have. Even I would rather take a little extra time to show someone how to do something (teaching them how to fish) rather than taking less time to just do it for them (giving them the fish), because I know that in the long run, that is much more beneficial to them and I truly do love to help people, especially when I know it will be appreciated.

When a person comes to me for help, my first impulse is to teach them. I know that’s not always what’s being asked for and some people flat-out just don’t want that, but hey…sue me. Again, I love to help.

But often, when I begin trying to show them whatever, the looks they give me are astounding. Many times, they show such a lack of interest and it’s as if they’re saying, “Yeah, yeah…just do it for me.”

But this sense of entitlement…where does it come from? I figure it’s likely how a lot of people were raised, but I still don’t understand how some people never seem to grow out of it.

Speaking of entitlement, now that I think about it, maybe that’s just a little different than simply being given a fish. It’s a little more than being okay with someone just doing something for you. It’s more that the doing for you is expected rather than requested.

You know what I’m talking about. Like those who ask to borrow money, but rather than it being a favor, they try to guilt you into feeling that you should give it to them, “because you two were childhood friends” or “because you’re family” or “because you have a lot and they don’t” (yes, that’s one, too, and you don’t even actually have to HAVE a lot of money; they just think you do). You should feel obligated to do so in some way.

It doesn’t have to be borrowing money. It could be pretty much anything. No sense of favor, but an obligation to do it for them. My favorite is the classic, “If you ever needed help, you’d want someone to do this for you, right?”

Yes, that could be true, but at the same time, some people will resort to anything to get something from someone else. Gotta love the guilt trips. They’re likely not even thinking about whether it will happen to you in the future. There’s that sense of obligation again. Then again, I know quite a few people who wouldn’t take money even if you gave it to them at gunpoint. My mother is sort of that way. I’m thinking maybe that’s where I got it from.

I don’t understand why a person wouldn’t want to be taught how to fish. After all, it may take a little longer and sometimes be a little inconvenient, but then you’re able to “eat” whenever you want. It’s just something about having to rely on people constantly that I just can’t get with.

Now that doesn’t mean we will never need help. Of course we will. As I said, I’m stubborn. There are times I don’t want help when I probably really need it. But for the most part and most of the time, when I’m able, I’d rather be taught. For me, knowing that whatever I’m taught could benefit me for life makes it well worth it.

Then again, I suppose if someone is always “giving” you a fish, there’s really not much need to worry about learning for yourself. Pride aside…some people brag about how much they can get others to do for them, as if always getting others to do for you is a good thing and some of us are “crazy” to work so hard to learn to do things for ourselves.

Guess you really showed us, huh?

This entry was posted in Feed Him for a Day, Feed Him For a LIfetime, Give a Man a Fish, Teach a Man To Fish and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Rather Than Wanting To Be Taught How To Fish, Too Many People Feel They’re Just Entitled To Everyone Else’s “Fish”

  1. Really enjoyed this post. I love to learn and to challenge myself, so even when I’ve taken the easy route I then get frustrated when I can’t do it myself the next time, so I’ll always take being taught to fish, over being given a fish!


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