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Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Man, His Son, And Their Donkey

A man and his Son were taking their donkey to the local market. On the way, they passed a countryman who said, "You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?"

The old Man, hearing this, quietly told his Son get on the donkey, and walked along merrily by his side.

Presently they came to a group of old men in earnest debate.

"There!" said one of them, "it proves what I was saying. What respect is shown to old age in these days? Do you see that idle young rogue riding, while his old father has to walk? Get down, you scapegrace! and let the old Man rest his weary limbs."

Upon this the Father made his Son dismount, and got up himself.

But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."

The good-natured Man immediately took up his Son to ride behind him.

By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey, making him carry both you and your son? Why, you two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast than he you!"

"Anything to please you," said the old Man.

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge. By this time, the Donkey had gotten his feet loose from the bindings, and not liking all the noise, kicked himself loose from the pole, and tumbled into the river below.

When this happened, the old Man turned around and made his way home with his Son — convinced that, by trying to please everybody, he had succeeded in pleasing nobody, and had lost his donkey as well.

Moral of the story: If you try to please everyone, you will please no one, not even yourself.

People will constantly give you advice on what "they" think you should do. The problem is... everyone has a different opinion about what should be done. If you try to follow everybody's advice regarding the same problem, you will never win. Many statements will be in direct conflict with one another. Choose the route that you think is best and stick with it. It's okay to listen to the advice of others, but don't switch tactics just because they say you should. Do what feels right for yourself.

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