I love simple stories that teach, especially analogous ones. They last so much longer in the memory and therefore so does the lesson at the heart of them. This is one of my favourites.
Got yourself a cuppa? Then I’ll begin:
A donkey was going for a walk on his farmers land one day and unfortunately fell down a dis-used well. The poor donkey was only slightly scratched but was in shock and fairly distressed because peering up into the shaft towards the light some distance above, he could see that climbing out of the well was not going to be an easy task.
The farmer had heard his pitiful wailing and came to see what had happened. His worried pacing up and down had not pacified the donkey as he could tell that the farmer could not decide how to get him out and he cried some more. Eventually the farmer decided the best thing to do would be to simply fill in and close up the well to avoid any more accidents and rather unfortunately for the donkey that meant sacrificing him to get the job done. Like most animals he was a lot smarter than the human gave him credit for and he had worked out what the farmer had decided to do.
First The Fear
The donkey yelled out in fear and distress to all the other other farm animals who heard him but although they were very sad they stayed put. Their various hands, paws, wings and hoofs were metaphorically and physically tied and they could do nothing to help. The farmer had rounded up some farm hands and they began shoveling earth down onto the frightened animal. He cried and cried as the earth rained down on his back. The terrified screeching and beseeching continued as he begged the stupid farmer to help him get out. The noise was horrifying…and then it stopped.
The farmer and the farm hands continued filling up the well with shovels regardless.
Then The Strength
Some time later the farmer peered into the well to see how much more there was to fill and he was met with a great surprise. The donkey was still alive and although a little dusty had managed to climb to the top of the well. He watched some more and noticed how he had done it.
With every loaded shovel of dirt the donkey had shrugged it off his back and then climbed on top of it.
The next batch rained on him and he would do the same, shrugging each shovel full of dirt off his shoulders. When the donkey reached the top he climbed out of the well then relieved himself on the farmers boots and sauntered off…
Okay I added the last bit about relieving himself, but you get the picture.
Then The Resolution
Of course the moral of the story is that with every piece of crap that hits you, you must square yourself to shrug it off and rise above it. What happens to each of us is not nearly as important as our chosen reactions to overcome each problem. I don’t want to sound twee. Some of life’s unwelcome challenges will be harder to apply this to…but ultimately, if one is to continue to go on in strength it has to be applied…eventually.
It is a simple message:
Use every difficulty as a stepping stone, shrug it off and step up!
‘Bananas‘ the donkey.