I’ve always been fascinated by sayings. Idioms. Synonyms that help me complete lists. They’re great!

And there’s perhaps none more flexible than the whole thing with fishing and eating.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. What are some examples of this?
byu/lemieszek inAskReddit

But what does it really mean? Here are a few areas it can apply to, according to Reddit.

1. Education

If you’re a US citizen, 25 or older, are unmarried, and make less than $30,000 a year, you can get a free, grant funded ride through community college if you specify on the fafsa that your parents will not be helping you.

I used it to learn how to weld but it can be applied to anything from IT to any other well paying skill you can think of.

– Tzozfg

2. Work quality

Any work scenario where someone gets mad at you for not knowing something.

You can lose your mind if something isn’t done to your standard or you can teach them how to do it so that they complete it satisfactorily moving forward.

– Oyster_Vous

3. Piracy

Back in college, my cousins would always ask me to bring home some movies on the weekends.

It got a little too much so I just taught them how to torrent lmao.

– BlepMaster500

4. Self-learning

Education, it’s one thing to get a degree and that is a great accomplishment, but if you are led the whole way by professors and classmates is does nothing to prepare you for the real world.

You have to learn how to educate yourself so that you may go through life with the ability to learn on your own and more importantly see where you need to learn in order to grow in the direction you want

– SharcEnergySystems

5. Tools

Ask my stepdad to borrow a tool and he’ll come do the work for me

Then he caught on, bought himself new tools and gave me his old ones. Free tools woot

– gasoline_rainbow

6. Cats

I used to open and close the kitchen door for the cat whenever he wanted “in or out.”

Then, I installed a “pet door” and taught him how to use it. Now, he comes and goes as he likes, without need of “valet service.”

– Back2Bach

7. Debt cycles

Teach a man to fish. And now he has to buy a fishing rod, and apply for a fishing license.

He will need to take out a car loan to drive to the lake.

And the lake is privately owned, so he will have to pay for access to the lake.

And the camping fees, and the car insurance.

Now the man is caught in a 9-6 rat race and he kills himself because there is no way out of the debt pit.


8. Real estate

Cousin of mine was a single mom on welfare with no real education or job skills.

After using the government programs and doing online education she got her real estate license and climbed out of poverty. She doin’ good.

– TrenchPenetrator

9. Actual fishing

Make a fishing line for a man and he will catch fish with it until its broken, teach him how to make a fishing line and he will fish forever

– Pepino_01

10. Humanitarian work

Giving money to government or even building important infrastructure for them is not as helpful as it might seem and leaves the locals feeling small and dependent.

Instead teach locals how to build important infrastructure, hire them, let them build it up instead of foreign volunteers. Help them to know how to help themselves. Also they are more capable than foreigners as they know how to create things that can withstand their climate and other factors. Let them use their local knowledge.

So yeah.. teach them how to fish and buy their fish.

– ChopChopSlayinIt

11. Reading

Learning to read.

We take it for granted but when you meet someone who can not read you realize just how hard their life is in the modern world.

– Gringoboi17

12. Personal finance

My entire relationship with money. My entire life I have not really had to worry about money. I always had a roof over my head and food. My parents taught me nothing about how much something costs so much so when I went to college at 19 my entire existence could be summed up into the Lucille Bluth meme “What does a banana cost Michael, 10 dollars?”

I’m in heavy debt because I never learned the value of a dollar and to this day have to re-teach myself every time I want something frivolous. If they had sat me down talked to me about budgeting and the importance of saving money, my entire life would be different now.

Now I am teaching myself how to fish.

– honeywrites

13. Trucks

My sister owns her first truck and it needs quite a bit of work. So when I work on it, I teach her as I work on it. Next vehicle she gets, she’ll know how to change a tire (and buy new tires that are the right size), change the breaks, rotors, wheel hubs, sway bar links, tie rods, suspension, hood, grill, and bumper.

She’ll know how to do an oil change, bleed breaks, charge an AC, fill the other vehicle fluids. Read an owners manual and a Haynes manual. She’ll know how to use a ton of different tools (she’s even starting her own little tool collection).

Most importantly, she’ll know how to trouble shoot issues herself and research the proper and safe means of deal with a new issue, or to understand if it’s something out of her scope and if she should consult a professional.

All this work goes from costing thousands by having everything done in a shop, to hundreds doing it yourself.

– SilhoutteNoire

14. Order of operations

Remember you can give someone a fish, then teach them to fish.

People learn better when they aren’t starving. (not mine, seen on twitter).

– colcob

15. Reddit memes

Show a man a meme on Reddit (here you have given the ma a fish to eat), make a Reddit account for him and let him join meme communities (here you have thought him how to fish)

– ari_111

Man. Now I’m just kinda hungry for fish.

What does this saying mean to you?

Tell us in the comments.