One beautiful sunrise morning a man, a woman and a donkey began their journey down the bumpy road to the village for supplies. Being the head of the household, the man rode the donkey and the woman followed behind. After a while a passing traveler stopped the trio and said, “You should be ashamed of yourself! Making your poor wife walk behind as you sit on top!” So the man got off the donkey and the woman got on the donkey and the man walked behind. After a few miles in the baking mid-day sun another passing traveler said, “You should be ashamed of yourself! Riding high on your mount while making your tired husband walk behind after working all day!” So the husband got back on the donkey and nudged up close behind his wife and they rode together down the road. After a few miles in the setting sun, a third traveler said, “You should be ashamed of yourself, the two of you on the back of that tired old donkey!”
Important because no matter how many people admire us or admonish us we will never impress everyone with our endearing personality, satisfy everyone with our very best work or convince everyone that our way is the right way. The moral of this fable is to ride your donkey to the village, pick up your supplies and return home and don’t allow the criticisms of passersby to alter your strategy.
(This story was adapted from a 6th Century B.C. fable, from The Harvard Classics. Photo Credit: Martin Usborne)