A fisherman has caught an enormous, world record Halibut. It’s a magnificent monster, almost five hundred pounds. People comment about it on line, and the focus of their interest is so different from mine, I wonder why that is.
One person says, “Was it really worth the effort to bring it in? It’s so old, would it be good to eat? It might have radiation in it.”
Another person says, “I wouldn’t eat it, even though it’s from the Atlantic. It will make a thousand filets. I certainly wouldn’t eat it if it was from the Pacific. The Pacific is full of radiation from the Japanese nuclear disaster.”
I never thought of any of those things. I thought: What a wonderful battle it must have been, for that man to prevail after hours of effort. What a beautiful fish, so enormous, it must have a varied history. The man has achieved a world record. Yes, it will make a thousand filets, and the fisherman will get nice money for it – but the skill and experience of the professional, pitted against a giant of its species, is a microcosm of humanity’s efforts, against and with nature.
I wonder if they missed the point, or if I missed the point. It’s going to be food on the table anyway, but first, it’s a unique achievement to be appreciated.