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.
Possibly a translation of the ancient Chinese saying 授人以魚不如授人以漁／授人以鱼不如授人以渔 (shòu rén yǐ yú bùrú shòu rén yǐ yú). often paraphrased as 授人以鱼只解一时之急，授人以渔 则解一生之需 See the results of an exploration by Quote Investigator on https://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/08/28/fish/.
- It is more worthwhile to teach someone to do something (for themselves) than to do it for them (on an ongoing basis).