By Joyce Alexander, RNP (Retired)
My friends are always sending me funny emails and jokes. My box fills up with them every day, and some of them I have seen “a hundred” times before and I just delete them. But the following story, though I had seen it “a hundred” times before, struck me today, as it really does have a good moral.
An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked.
As they went along they passed some people who remarked, “What a shame … the old man is walking and the boy is riding.”
The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions. Later they passed some people who remarked, “What a shame… he makes that little boy walk.” So they then decided they’d both walk!
Soon they passed some more people who remarked, “They’re really stupid to walk when they have a decent donkey to ride.”
So, they both rode the donkey. Now they passed some people who shamed them by saying, “How awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.” The boy and man figured they were probably right, so they decide to carry the donkey.
As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.
The moral of the story? If you try to please everyone, you might as well … Kiss your ass goodbye!
Too many times in this life I have found myself “trying to please everyone.” Most of the time when I did that, I ended up not only not pleasing anyone, I hurt myself in the process, because I never even considered what I wanted to do or what I thought was reasonable!
I can look back on many of the “adventures” I have had in my life (an ADVENTURE is the RESULT OF POOR PLANNING), and see just where I went wrong. Much of the time, the adventure was caused by me trying to please someone else, or someones (plural) else.
I’m not saying here that you should never listen to what other people advise you, or that you should never take someone else’s opinion into consideration, because sometimes people do have ideas that we never considered that will make a situation easier. There are other times, though, when people have opinions on how we are doing things that are emotionally based “bad ideas,” that we should discard and listen to our own good common sense.
For example, the first critics objected to the old man walking and the boy riding. Number one, both the man and the boy were obviously “okay” with the situation just as it was, and the old man was comfortable walking and the boy was comfortable riding, and frankly, in some situations I’d rather walk than ride a horse or a donkey. So if they were comfortable, as things were, they should have continued doing what they were doing, but they decided to change.
Then the second set of critics so again, the old man and the boy both decided to walk, and they seemed happy enough with that until the third set of critics came along and criticized them for not both riding the donkey … and so on, until, listening to the last set of critics, they very uncomfortably decided to carry the donkey. Now I don’t know if you can even imagine how the donkey would have squirmed and wiggled trying to get its feet on the ground, but it would have been trying hard to do just that, and it would be no surprise to me that it fell off the shoulders of the old man and the boy and drowned in the river.
I’ve always heard the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So if your life is going well, and someone else doesn’t like the way you are running it … you might think once or twice or even three times before you change how you are doing things.
Psychopaths come into our lives and somehow seem to make us unhappy or dissatisfied with how our successful life is going, and they want us to change something about how we are doing things, even though we may be quite satisfied that our life is going along quite well. Though it is definitely none of their business whether we “ride the donkey or walk,” they have something to say about it, and that is, “we are doing it wrong.” So if you are satisfied with your life, if things are going along well, don’t let someone else make you think you are being abusive to your ass, because if you let them influence you too much, and don’t think for yourself, you may just be like the old man and the boy and lose your ass.