Thursday, May 14, 2009

The father, the son and the donkey

KK shared with me this story in the cbox. I really thought it's a very important lesson to be learned from it. It is happening to us all the time. Since we learn different things from the same story, I'm not going to interpret but leave it open for readers to form their own thoughts about it.


A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: "You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?"

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."

Well, the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours and your hulking son?"

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.

"That will teach you," said an old man who had followed them:

"Please all, and you will please none."


Derek said...

I'm a Buddhist and I believed that one should not be unduly worried what others say. When someone make a comment about you, think about it. If you feel that they are right, improve yourself else ignore them.

Of course this is more difficult than it sounds.

la papillion said...

Hi derek,

Actually I see this story as this: a lot of people are giving free advice. While not all are good, at least most of them will sound reasonable and full of logic, and it serves to confuse one. For e.g. in the cbox, some will say to buy this, to sell that, without a strong core philosophy towards investing/trading, it's very disorienting.

I'm sure this analogy can be applied equally well to almost everything - properties, insurance, which schools are the best, which stocks are good etc etc.

Thus, I find this story very relevant :)

PanzerGrenadier said...


I think the moral of the donkey story is make up your own mind or others will decide for you.

Being open to feedback is a good thing. Letting your life be controlled by it is not.

We have to tread the fine line between being receptive to criticism and feedback versus being independently minded enough to decide for yourself how you want to proceed in life.

I'm a fan of Chris Guillebeau whose website the "Art of Nonconformity" shares how to create your own unconventional life.

Be well and prosper.

la papillion said...

Hi PG,

Yes, i agree with you :) I think everyone need to make up his mind and follow his principles. Advice is free, so if you ask for one, you'll likely get it. In the end, you still have to decide what is the best path for yourself.

I've browsed thru the site, looks good :) thks for the recommendation!

Anonymous said...

Hi LP!

Its liberating for me to just need to follow one voice now.

Not always clear though, as good meaning friends may give good advise contrary to the best. And my own voice may be louder at times.

Even for investment. :) I just sold away some companies that I should not buy in the first place.
But keep those I meant for long term even though it went up many times and a pull back is eminent. (trading is a no no for weak, gambling heart like mine)

Ya Kun & old Changkee are reviewing the shop. Good tenants? Maybe we can analyse and make good prediction. But who can tell the future? So I leave it to Him.

Its liberating to just need to listen to one voice.


la papillion said...

Hi hh,

long time never see you post anything here :)

I'm glad you found a direction to follow :) Catch up with you one of these days :)

Createwealth8888 said...

Yourself, Your Money Management, Your Strategies and the Market. You are answerable to yourself. Period.

la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

Yes, definitely. Answerable to oneself, no others.