The Director of the corporate multinational food empire was horrified to find the gardener lying on a blanket beside her wheelbarrow, soaking up the afternoon sun, enjoying reading her latest book.

“Why aren’t you digging?” Said the Director.

“Because I have tended my garden enough for the day, I have carrots, potatoes and rocket salad for supper.” Said the gardener.

“Why don’t you put more work in, dig more carrots, cut more rocket?”

“What would I do with them?”

“Sell them to your neighbour, earn more money. Then you could have a digging machine to help you pull up your carrots more quickly. That would bring you money to buy more land to grow more carrots. More carrots, more money. Soon you’d have enough to employ a gardener to do your digging, then two gardeners, then a whole workforce of gardeners. Then you could be rich like me.”

“What would I do then?”

“Then you could sit back and enjoy life.”

“What do you think I am doing now?”

Adapted from ‘The Industrialist and the Fisherman’ in John Lane’s book Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society.

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