"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
Taught to us when we are young, this quote is often attributed to Jesus. But it's actually an old Chinese proverb. Societies east and west, clearly stress the importance of teaching others how to do something useful for themselves. But although we stress this concept to our children, we often lose sight of it as adults. How many times have we found ourselves jumping in and doing something for someone we could have just as easily taught them to do for themselves?
And of course, as adults, we arent always exactly receptive to teachable moments anyway. Our egos often prevent us from heeding the advice of those closest to us, especially family members and our romantic partners.
Our media culture isnt helping the situation either. It's all about insta-fame, insta-wealth, and insta-results. This plays out noticeably in the firearm training industry, with entertaining yet shallow courses designed to prepare average citizens for the zombie apocalypse in just two action packed days of training. And if nothing really useful is passed on or retained from the course, at least you get a flashy social media photo-op to make all your friends insta-jealous .
This type of training can easily become a problem when students seek advanced training before mastering the fundamentals. Having fun is important but the reality is that we really need to have the fundamentals down pat, especially when dealing with firearms.
Gun owners with little or no fundamentals, become a recipe for disaster in highly stressful situations. It’s a story none of us would like to read let alone write. And writing it is exactly what we’re doing when we bypass the opportunity to teach someone rather than just ‘do’, or allow others to do for us what we should learn to do ourselves.