give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
The oldest English-language use of the proverb has been found in Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie's (1837–1919) novel, Mrs. Dymond (1885), in a slightly different form:
- " […] if you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour. If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.
The proverb has been attributed to many others, but no solid evidence has been produced.
- It is more worthwhile to teach someone to do something (for themselves) than to do it for them (on an ongoing basis).