Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Learning from the Fishbowl

In View from the Ark of the Catholic Times, a priest columnist gives us his thoughts on what he learned from the tropical fish left him by the previous pastor. They were fish from Malawi--an unknown world for the new pastor. He searched the Internet for knowledge of what to do. He bought the filters and did all that was necessary. 

For him, it was trial and error. He decided to raise 20 of them. In the beginning, everything went well but gradually each day one would die. He had no idea why they died. The water quality and temperature were correct, and no external signs to warrant death. Those who remained alive were very active, finally only 5 remained. Before he bought any more fish, he wanted to find the reason for the problem.

When fed, one species of  fish  would attack the food, and the other species would go to the bottom of the bowl with their bellies touching the bottom. Even when he put more feed in the bowl after the  others had eaten, the other fish weren't interested. In the human world, you would say they were depressed, and being bullied gave up, dying of starvation. He had heard that one breed of fish would not live with another breed, but he didn't believe it would be in this way. 

He went to the Internet to find out what to do. In a small area, you were to give the fish little food. He put the five fish in another large fish bowl and bought a small bowl for another 40 fish that he was going to raise. Since the space was  small, there was no fighting. He gave feed sparingly and  not as much as they wanted; they were not governed by the territory.

He was gone for a few days and told the priest to give the fish each day some food, but he didn't tell him  how much, so when he returned the shape of the fish changed. Fish were dying, and he was told to put  medication in the bowl.

He got rid of most of the water in the bowl and the fish were crowded together in a small area of the fishbowl, they were like the roaches in a paddy field,  had little water, and squirming around. He gave them no food for two days and then he added water to the bowl. There was no more bullying of other fish and no fish were estranged from the others, no dying fish and all went well. 

 It was an interesting experiment. When the fish had plenty of space and food, we had fighting, alienation and dying fish. Isn't this what is happening in the world? With quick economic development,  we overlook  the mental and spiritual growth of the person.

The Israelites were told to gather just enough manna for the day. The fish when they had the problem with little space and no food it prepared them for the open space and their daily food. The columnist would like this to be the case in our own world.

No comments:

Post a Comment