A sentence from Mrs. Obama, a doctor in sociology, caught my attention: « Don’t give us fish, don’t teach us how to fish, Ask Us If we eat fish. « 

In the famous adage saying that it is better to « teach how to fish rather than to give fish », the man to whom one brings fish or the learning of fishing is totally absent from the sentence! What does he want, what does he think? Are we sure he wants to learn? We don’t even ask the question! The phrase is entirely turned towards the gesture of the actor, only active in the relationship, which overlooks the fisherman. He discovers, fully satisfied with his generosity and ingenuity, that it is better to teach than to give.

But this adage knows several formulations, and has, moreover, various fatherhoods: Lao Tzu, Confucius, the Bible…?

I deliver there Some of the formulations:

« When a man is hungry, it is better to teach him to fish than to give him a fish » attributed to Confucius.

« If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat someday, if you teach him to fish, he’ll always eat« 

« Do not give me fish, teach me how to fish instead« . This formula, attributed to Mao Tse Tung, seems to me the only correct one, and by far. It puts the man in the first person: he is the one who formulates what he asks. It is only in this way that the learning relationship, which accompanies development, can be fruitful. Another shot of President Mao!


Cet article est la traduction de : « De l’absurdité de l’adage : ne donnez pas du poisson, apprenez à pêcher » que vous pourrez trouver sur ce site : http://jacques-ould-aoudia.net/de-labsurdite-de-ladage-ne-donnez-pas-du-poisson-apprenez-a-pecher/