I chose “The Shark And The Goldfish” by Jon Gordon for my book report. This book is about positive ways to thrive during waves of change and follows a goldfish named Gordy who washes out into the ocean. Gordy has always been taken care of and fed daily, but doesn’t know how to act or get food when he is in the ocean. He meets a nice shark named Sammy who teaches him how to find food and take care of himself. The story is a lesson for how you never know what life is going to throw at you and when a new challenge or change comes your way, it is up to you to embrace the change and learn to grow instead of viewing the change as a negative. The lingering question in the beginning of the story is are you a shark or a goldfish and how you can learn to become a shark if you tend to have more goldfish like tendencies.
The story begins with Gordy the goldfish playing at the beach with his owner. It explains how Gordy lived a great life and didn’t have any worries. “He ate, slept, swam, and did twirls in the water any time his humans approached to feed him. He never wanted for anything, especially food. Food was abundant and he was prosperous. Life was good.” Everything changed when a big wave came onto the beach and carried Gordy out to sea. He was frightened and panicked, wondering who would feed him now. Not knowing how to gather food for himself, Gordy was nearly starved when he met Sammy the shark who decided he would teach Gordy how to act like a shark and get food for himself. Sammy explained to Gordy what he needed to change in order to survive in the ocean by saying, “Your problem is that you are a goldfish. You are waiting to be fed. That’s fine during the fat times when all sorts of people are feeding you. But you’re in the ocean now. Times are a changin’. Things are a little tougher here. You have to work a little harder. You need to be a little smarter. You need to change your thinking. You need to become a shark. Goldfish wait to be fed. Sharks go out and find food. Now let me show you how to be a shark and we’ll go find food together.” Sammy was trying to show Gordy how to react to the change in a positive way. He let him know that food wouldn’t be given to him any longer and that it would be up to Gordy to fend for himself. By accepting the change and working with the new resources he had, Gordy was able to start the process of embracing the change and turning it into a learning experience where he could grow.
While Sammy taught Gordy how to act like a shark, he wrote many important lessons on the coral reef for Gordy to use as a guide. He inspires Gordy to want to change and shows him how this situation can actually be seen as something good instead of Gordy thinking the worst and viewing this as a problem. Sammy tells Gordy “As a shark in training you believe you can influence your situation and your outcome by your positive thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Yes, it’s true that you can’t control the events in your life. You can’t control the fact that you were hit hard by a wave of change. But you can control your positive thoughts and your positive responses to these events and challenges, and in turn this will determine the outcome. “ This is a great piece of advice for Gordy or anyone to use. Like Sammy said, the fate of a situation is how you choose to react to them and whether or not you embrace the wave of change and turn it into good, or let the wave of change hit you and don’t get back up. If you stay positive throughout the changes happening in your life, you will stay on top and turn the change into a learning point in life. If you see the change as a positive, not only will the outcome turn out more positive, you will also be more likely to overcome the change and not let it defeat you. It’s all about how you choose to face the wave and if you decide to ride it out or not. Sammy also explained that many times the wave of change allows someone to start over. It washes everything...
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