Today, I was visiting with a good friend and I told him a story that had been told to me. He suggested I post it because it is a cool story with a moral. And I know we all could use more stories with morals. Forgive me if you’ve heard this one before….
There was once an old man and his grandson living in a village at the top of a mountain. They were very poor, and because they desperately needed money for food for the winter, the grandfather decided to sell their only asset — an old donkey. So, early the next morning, the old man and the boy collected their donkey and headed down the mountain, to the market far below.
Walking along together, leading the donkey, they passed through a small village.
“Look at that stupid old man and his stupid boy!” the villagers there whispered to each other, ” They have this long journey ahead of them, and neither of them thought to ride the donkey, thus saving some energy to make the trip. Idiots!”
The old man didn’t want the villagers to think he and his grandson were idiots, so he lifted the boy up on to the back of the donkey, and they continued on their way.
Walking beside the donkey, with his grandson on it’s back, they passed through another small village.
“Can you believe how selfish and disrespectful that kid is to his grandfather?” the villagers exclaimed to each other, “He’s full of youth and energy, and yet he makes that poor old man walk, while he rides. That disrespectful, horrible grandson!”
The old man certainly didn’t like what was being said about his grandson, so he swung up onto the donkey’s back, and the two of them rode like that to the next village.
And, again, they passed through another village.
“Such shortsightedness!” sneered the villagers as they watched the donkey with the two riders pass by. ” Here they are, needing money to make it through the winter with only this donkey to sell, and they’re gonna ride it to death by the time they get it to the market. Why, it probably won’t be worth anything at all by the time they get it down there! Morons.”
Fearful that these villagers were right, the old man and the grandson climbed off the donkeys back, and then each lifted the donkey onto their backs and together they started carrying the donkey the rest of the way to the market.
But as they passed over a bridge over a deep valley, the old man and his grandson hit a spot that was slippery, and they lost their balance, thus pitching the donkey over the side of the bridge, and to its death.
The moral of the story: If you try to please everyone, you’ll lose your ass. 🙂