have you missed the point of this life joke?!

I need to share this. But first some context. While in Ikaria I stayed at Nas Beach where, perched on the cliff overlooking the beach, is Thea’s Inn. Thea is a delight and looks after anyone who comes into her orbit. More on her and her inn soon… but you can learn how to make her soufiko here.

Meantime, Elias is Thea’s husband. A farmer who brought me his goat milk each morning while I was in Ikaria. And cactus fruit. And cucumbers. And always knew when I was about to walk into Thea’s for dinner. He walked outside to greet me, often with a wisdom perfectly suited to my mood.  He’s somewhat psychic. Deeply heart-based.

f09d8a4adbb511e1a0c81231380ff428 71 have you missed the point of this life joke?!

Elias told me this “joke” while he drove me to put petrol in my motorbike the other morning (I’d run out and hitched home the night before). We were screaming along a dirt track and he was yelling back at me in his broken English:

A simple Greek fisherman finishes his day at the taverna and is drinking some Tsipouro (a Greek grappa). A German (it’s always a German in these Greek jokes) leans over and says, “Why only catch two or three fish on a single line when you could catch more… and with the money you earn you can buy a boat? It will make your life easier.”

The Greek takes things on board and the following year both men are drinking in the taverna at the end of the day and the German leans over and says, “OK, I see you’ve bought a boat. You’ve been successful. But why only one? Fish some more and buy another. And get some workers. You will become very successful. Life will be better.” It goes on for a few years in this way.

Finally, the Greek is drinking and socialising in the taverna and the German is back once more for his annual holiday. He says, “You’re here all day now. Why are you sitting around socialising all day. You should be out working!”. The Greek looks at the German incredulously and replies, “But wasn’t this the whole point?!?”

Yes, the whole point! Isn’t the whole point to work hard and do all the right things so you can stop and rest? Why would you do it otherwise?

I love this.

The tragic and telling German/Australian/American/(insert uptight nation of choice) ending, of course, would no doubt see the fisherman no longer able to enjoy a Tsipouro at the end of the day because he’s too stressed and busy managing his fishing fleet and staff.

This is the sad reality for many of us. It has been for me for 30-odd years. We lose sight of something so simple.

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