I’ve heard that if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

It seems teaching someone to fish is a much better use of time and resources than giving them a fish if we’re ever going to really do something about world hunger. So let’s teach them to fish. This should be no problem since everyone owns a fishing rod.

I’ve just been informed that not everyone owns a fishing rod. Participants in our fisher-training program will need to get rods. We will simply require each trainee to get a rod. World hunger solved!

Wait. That rod isn’t going to catch anything without bait. Our fishers need bait. Enrollees in our program will need a rod and some bait. So, we will ask them to bring these things to class. Then world hunger will be a thing of the past!

Hold on, some people who want to learn to fish don’t live near the water. They will have to get themselves to the water. Not a problem, I’m sure. Any motivated wannabe fisher will find a way to get to the water, and when they do, no more world hunger.

Hrm. The water is apparently too far away to walk to. It is also not on a convenient bus route. To become a fisher, our student will need a car. This should be a non-issue for anyone who truly wants to learn to fish. Just get a rod, some bait, and a car, then BAM! The world feasts on fish.

Okay, we’ve finally made it to the lake and are ready to fish. Our fisher-to-be can just hop in their boat and we can begin the fishing lesson. What’s that? They didn’t bring a boat? No big deal, they can just get a boat. Once they have a rod, bait, car to get to the water, and a boat, we will totally teach them to fish and then end world hunger.

Since our aspiring fisher is clearly fully invested in this process, I’m sure they applied for a fishing license already. Oh, they didn’t know they needed one or where to apply for it? That’s fine, they can do it online. They will just need broadband access and an internet-ready device. As soon as they get those, we will teach them to fish. It’s perfectly reasonable for them to get a rod, bait, car, boat, broadband access, and an internet-ready device. Do they want to learn to fish or not?

Oh good, they have decided to go to the public library to apply for a fishing license. We are dealing with a clever future fisher here. They had to wait a week because the library’s hours have been cut due to a lack of funding (maybe the librarians should learn to fish too?), and the new hours conflicted with their work schedule. Now, all they have to do is fill out the simple government form and enter their credit card number to pay the fee. The fish are within reach!

What? They don’t have a credit card? Who doesn’t have a credit card? Any parent who expects their child to learn to fish on their own obviously would have cosigned for a credit card when the child with aspirations of fishing turned eighteen so they could start building a credit history. How irresponsible are these parents? Do they not want their children to fish? This young person does seem pretty determined to catch a fish. I’m sure they will figure something out. Then they’ll have the rod, bait, car, boat, broadband access, internet-ready device, credit card, and license they need so we can teach them to fish.

It’s almost too simple.

Hello, fish. Goodbye, world hunger!