Lions & Lionesses,
Throughout history, fables and stories have been used as a vehicle for sharing wisdom. Today, I’m sharing with you a fable written by Aesop a couple of thousand of years ago. Some things never change, this story shares a lesson that transcends time. Let’s get to it.
The Man, The Boy and The Donkey
A man and his son were going with their donkey to the market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said “You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?”
So the man put his son on the donkey and they continued on their way. Soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said, “Look at that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”
So the man orders his son to get off, got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of who said to the other: “Shame on that lazy man to let his poor little son trudge along.”
The man didn’t know what to do, but at last he joined his son and together they rode on the donkey. By this time they were in town, and people began to point and laugh at them. The man stopped and asked what everyone was laughing at. The passerby said: “Are you not ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours – you and your huge son?”
The father and son jumped off and ponder what to do. They thought and 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 struggled to carry the donkey this way but continued on, fearing the opinions of the crowd. They went along amid loads of laughter until they arrived at the bridge. The donkey kicked one of his feet loose and caused the boy to drop his end. The donkey fell over the bridge and drowned in the river.
“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them.
The lesson here is “If you seek to please all, then you will please none.”
To be truly free and to fully enjoy life you must be free from caring what others think. As Clint Eastwood once said, “Opinions are like a**holes; everyone has one and they usually stink.”
Every human has the inalienable right to make their own decisions. It goes both ways. You must allow others to make their own decisions as well. Each of us are solely responsible for our lives but no others. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for many.