One smart donkey

Once in a while, I’ll run across a story worth sharing. I’ll go on the record saying it’s not at all an original, but it’s one of those modern parables, and it’s one I like to pull out on those days when it seems like the sky is falling in on me.

My aunt forwarded me this short lesson a few years ago. I’ve heard it shared since, most recently at the Harris-Lake Park graduation ceremonies last month.

I like to refer to it as “The parable of the smart ass.” May it enlighten you as well:

One day, a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well.

The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided that the ani- mal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway.

It just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.

At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down at the well and was astonished at what he saw. As every shovel of dirt hit his back, the donkey did something surprising. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyon√© was amazed as the donkey stepped over the edge of the well and trotted off.

The moral is pretty obvious, but here it is as attached to the story as I received it:

“Life is going to shovel dirt on you – all kinds of dirt. The trick of getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping – never giving up.”

Shake it off and take a step up.