The seller of fishing hooks

Romell Avendaño
4 min readApr 7, 2024

Everyone has blurried memories from their childhood, things than even surrounded by a vast lack of details, had the power to impact in our personality, our behavior and vision of life.

Image from ChatGPT4

One of my oldest and fuzziest memories comes from my childhood and takes place around the 80’s in Venezuela on Margarita Island.

Margarita is a tropical island in the middle of the Caribbean, so imagine beautiful beaches with crystal clear water and amazing weather all year round. I had the opportunity to spend some time there, especially during school vacations, so for me, a seven-year-old boy that time was amazing. I have many fond memories of that time but one of the most beautiful and important ones do not come from playing on the beach or under the sun, they come from a hardware store.

I don’t remember if there was a specific trigger, something I read or saw on TV, maybe I saw someone doing it, but finally for something I wanted to learn how to fish.

So, after telling my mother about this new and exciting adventure I had found, we went to a hardware store to buy some accessories.

And this is where my fuzzy memory begins.

A seller behind the counter waited on us. He started talking to my mother and I guess she asked him for a fishing line and a hook.

I remember the seller walked away for a moment and came back with two things in his hand: a spool of fishing line and a mysterious little box.

Afterwards, the conversation between my mother and the seller was something like this:

My mom: What is this?
Seller: A roll of fishing line.
My mom: And what’s that?
Seller: A box of fishing hooks.
My mom: A box? How many fishing hooks are there?
Seller: One hundred.
My mom: But, I only need one. Can you sell me just one?
Seller: I’m sorry, madam. I can’t do that. We sell the whole box.
My mom: Mmmm well …. I think I’m just going to buy the roll of fishing line.

A lot of meters of fishing line without hooks was useless, which means, my dream of being a professional fisherman was over before it even started. My dream was destroyed.

I didn’t cry because I was never that kind of kid, but I was devastated, I remember the sadness and disappointment very vividly.

My mom paid for the fishing line and the salesman gave it to her in a little brown paper bag, and we left the store.

Later that day as we walked my mom handed me the bag which I reluctantly took. I opened it to discover to my surprise that at the bottom of the bag, hidden under the fishing line was a lone fish hook.

I couldn’t believe it! There is a fishing hook in the bag!

I showed it to my mother and she was amazed. She took it in her hand, looked at it for a few seconds, smiled slightly, and handed it back to me.

We deduced that at some point during the payment, this seller, this guy without anyone seeing him, without telling or asking anyone, took a single fishing hook from that box of one hundred, and put it in the paper bag.

I can’t describe how happy and surprised I was, suddenly my dream of being a great fisherman could come true again.

More than 40 years have passed since that event, and now I can look back on that memory in a more reflective way.

Why did this seller do that? Was it my face of sadness and disappointment? Was he angry at his job? At his boss? Did he think it was an injustice to force people to buy a whole box of hooks when a person only needed one? Or did he simply want to do an act of kindness? Of generosity? Of humanity?

Of course, I’ve never seen that seller again and I don’t know what his reasons might be, but I’m sure that decision only took him a couple of seconds at most, and it was more than enough to change the world, or at least to change mine.

This is one of the most powerful lessons of kindness and generosity I have learned in life, since then I have always tried to be that fishing hook seller.

Be that fishing hook seller! Be the person who has the bravery, and the courage to pass on generosity and humanity to others, without looking at whom and without expecting anything in return.

One small act of kindness, no matter how silly or small it may seem, has the power to change the whole world, one person at a time.

Image from ChatGPT

I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to dive into this reading. Your support means a lot, and I’m genuinely thrilled you’re a part of this journey. 😊 🤖 🪐

Your thoughts, opinions, and feedback are invaluable to me. I’d love to hear what resonated with you or any ideas you might have. So, don’t hesitate to drop a comment or reach out — let’s keep the conversation going!

Until next time wonderful readers. 🚀 😎

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Romell Avendaño

Life is a DIY project, that's why I write about technology, innovation, productivity and more. Also I'm Obsidian Fan and I assure you I'm not a robot) 🤖