This fable has been on my mind a lot these past few days. It brings a smile to my face and inspiration to my mind. I share it with you now and hope it lifts your spirits as winter arrives and we are all wading through the rollercoaster ride that is 2020.
One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. It cried so pitifully and loudly the farmer came to see what was wrong. He spent much time trying to figure out how to get his animal out of the well. As the well was dry and he could see no way to succeed he eventually decided his best course of action was to fill in the well. This would end the donkey’s misery and filling the well meant there would be no further losses.
So the farmer asked his neighbors to come help him fill in the well. They all grabbed shovels and began the sad task.
At first, the donkey cried even louder than it had to get the farmer’s attention. And then the braying stopped. The farmer looked down into the well and was amazed by what he saw. Each time a shovel landed on the donkey’s back it shook the dirt off. Every few loads the donkey would take a step up and was slowly rising in the well. Dirt piled on, the donkey shook it off and took a step up.
As the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling, the donkey continued rising until it crested the top of the well and sauntered off into the field.
I believe there are many morals to this story. Two that jump out to me are:
Life is going to have dirty, painful uncomfortable moments. There may be times you feel like everything is going wrong and you want just one little ray of sunlight or joy to help get you through.
The answer is to shake it off. Yes, it’s a challenge, and yes, you struggled. Yet you survived and get to move on to another day. Shake it off, leave it in the well and move on to the greener pastures.
Make it a stepping stone towards something joyful and positively nourishing.
What a situation looks like to you may look completely different to the other party.
What happens in life isn’t nearly as important as your reaction to it.
OK- and a third that just came to me – Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to be stubborn… 😉