Friday, September 25, 2015

Random story: The farmer and the prospector

The farmer was having a meal with the prospector. The prospector was relating how much fun he had walking through the jungle and mountain, spotting precious herbs and rare gems to sell.

The farmer smiled and said" I had no such fun, I toil the farm everyday, but only get a harvest twice a year"

The prospector asked the farmer friend to join him. "Rewards come quick, and fast, there is no need to wait 12 months for rewards" 

The farmer politely declined. He didn't want to face the vugalrities of beasts and traps of the jungle, he also did not like the feast and famine type of harvest. He didn't say much.

His friend sense what his was thinking and said"you do not have to give up on your farm. Imagine with the money you get from doing my work for a few years. You can buy a bigger plot of farm later. I also wanted a plot of farm when I am older and less agile. I will buy the most fertile farm with the best equipment. "

The farmer wasn't interested, but asked" where do you usually do your prospecting?" The prospector said "oh I go to all places", but waterfalls are places  where there is a rich diversity of plants and minerals at the bottom. The deeper the waterfall, the higher the probability of finding something good. I recently found  a 10 m high waterfall in the next county, although it is many days of walk and sailing from here, I believed I might just find some gems! Haha"

The farmer is surprised! "But there is a 20m waterfall at the back of my farm."

The prospector said" is it? Naa... The undercurrent is not fluid enough" 

That night, the farmer wondered if he should advice him to stop prospecting. He didn't seem like an expert in prospecting, and is concerned that he might get hurt rather than rich. He brushed it aside, thinking he is most probably jealous of his rich friend.

The next morning, as he toiled his farm, he thought about his friend again. He got worried again. He suddenly recalled the various prospectors that came this way to the waterfall at the back of the farm. Most have very sophiscated equipments but they always lament prospecting is a tough craft. He serious doubt his friend can do well over the longer term. He thought" maybe I should find a time to talk to him"
That night, the farmer had second thoughts again. Maybe he should just let the friend be. They aren't that close anyway. Also, the farmer believe he still has much to learn about farming to convince his friend to give up prospecting to go into farming.  

He believed anyone needs at least 3 out of the 4 things to be a successful farmer or prospector. 

1) luck
2) capital 
3) guts 
4) knowledge

While he believed his friend might lack some knowledge as compared to other prospectors, who is to judge if he doesn't have the other 3 to make up for it? He knows his friend has capital a plenty with strong backing from parents. 

The farmer think about himself, he belived his knowledge on farming is not actually very good, and is still learning. He has very little capital and basically no luck at all. It is weird for him to advise.

Well, for the farmer, the field and the weathers are the best teachers, he reckons his advices will be ill-received anyway, and may the jungles and mountains be his friend best teacher. 


  1. Hi SI,

    This sounds like a trader vs investor analogy kind of story...or an expert vs commoner kind of story....

    1. Hi Joyce,

      Actually it is a adaption from a conversation I had with someone ...

      But u are not wrong too.

  2. Hi SI,

    I am the farmer. I do not toil the farm much, and have harvest almost every month.


  3. Hi farmer,

    As the plot of land gets bigger and bigger, you can practice crop rotation, then there are more harvest.

    When u start to own acres and acres of land, then u have what one have now. Monthly harvest.

    I am still toiling away.

    But no longer crumbling. Toil and look at the sun, listen to birds.

    Small farm.

    But aspire to have farm like yours

    1. Hi SI,

      Correction. I need to toil some more as harvests in most months still not sufficient to fill the stomach. Haha.


    2. Lol farmer,

      No need for corrections, just teasing u. It works everytime when I tease my colleagues about "big businesses"

      I am a regular reader of your blog... That some
      Months are enough to offset monthly expense, it is one heck of achievement. Low monthly expenses is also an achievement in my eyes

  4. Always happy to be a farmer
    Simple boring life is fine for me ^^

    1. Felix,

      In my eyes, u are both a farmer and a prospector.

      But no one says prospector has to be "exciting". Simple and boring hubrid

  5. Hi SI,

    People who does not know me always thought I m a prospector, but those who know me well think otherwise.

    I recalled I was always competing (under circumstances) with another colleague in my prev org. Then a colleague tell me I will have a hard time because I m farmer type while my competitor is not. Indeed... it's not easy.

    Today, 5 yrs had passed, I had not change in my way of work! Still a farmer but somehow more experience, more patient and more productive, I think.

    Just be urself at the core, take action, fail, learn and move forward, and repeat it each time becoming a stronger, more clever n prudent farmer!

    1. Hmm... You are applying this in work Rolf, not what I have in mjnd.

      I think I am neither farmer nor prospector. I am a really just a worker...

      U know, I am really quite sure if I have no mouths to feed, I would have done something to my career. I won't quit. But it will not be in this form

    2. not really in work, if u delve in deeper, u realize it's the same in life. Read last para of my last comments again.

    3. Hmm Rolf,

      OK.... LOL.... I am a bad student... Who is yourself?
      Fail, learn and move forward... We all do it, but when you dun meet your 伯乐,don't believe in what you are doing, it is a drag

  6. I am not sure if u r bad student. But i am sure u r good teacher! Just one ex-boss in his 60s now, in a way indicate that he only find his true self and true enlightenment when facing with death with doctor give him low chance options to survive when he was in his early to mid 50s.

    "If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it." - Steve Job


    1. Hi Rolf,

      Everyday living ... Hopefully searching too. I not too sure about the teacher part.

      But it is a job with no regrets

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