#306 You and Your Donkey

A Parable on Trusting Yourself

Have you ever heard the story about a guy and his son and their donkey?

It goes something like this.

A long, long time ago in a faraway land a man and his son set off to sell their donkey in a market several towns away.

The boy hopped on the donkey and the father led the way. As they passed the first town, a group of people saw them and said, “Why in the world is that young boy with his fresh legs sitting on that donkey while his poor old father has to walk?”

So, the boy and the father switch places, with the boy now walking and the father sitting up on the donkey.

They pass through another town. A group there looks at them and says, “Are you kidding me? That little boy has to walk while his father, with his strong legs, is sitting up there on the donkey? Geez. What’s this world coming to?”

Slightly perplexed, the boy and the father decide to both hop on the donkey and they continue to the next town. Here, people are aghast. “That poor donkey!!! Both of them riding him?! Incredible!”

Now the father pauses and thinks for a moment and comes up with a great idea. He buys a bamboo pole and some thick rope. They tie the donkey to the bamboo pole and set off carrying him to the next town.

In that town, they are met by another group who says, “Hah! Have you ever seen such a thing? Why in the world are they carrying that donkey?!”

Moral of the story?

You can’t please everyone all the time.

So, let’s quit trying.

As Emerson says: “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness.”

Today’s +1. What must you do?

Do it.

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