Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Donkey and the Well

Here we are at the beginning of a  new year. 2011. How do you feel about that? Are you anxious to see the close of an especially tough year or do you look back at 2010 as a year of learning and growth, both personally and professionally? Are you excited about the prospects 2011 offers?

As I contemplate the year past and the new year before me, I am reminded of the Donkey and the 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 the animal 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 the well, and was astonished at what he saw. As every shovel of dirt hit his back, the donkey did something amazing. 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, everyone was amazed, as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.

The Moral: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to 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!

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less. 

There will always be 'wells' in life, some deeper than others. While we can't prevent the wells from appearing in life, we CAN control what we do with our wells. You are who you are today as a result of everything you have experienced in life to this point. Recognize the value in the difficulties and resolve in the new year to "shake it off and take a step up!"  What have you resolved to do in 2011? What are you going to continue that you started in 2010? Is there a 'well' in your life that you will now begin to 'step on'?


  1. Love this thought. There is plenty of dirt others throw at us because we deserve it or otherwise so we might as well put it to good use. I think we throw ourselves in the well sometimes also ( ie debt,emotional upheaval,etc. . .) So here here to 2011 and onward and upward. Mud pie anyone?

  2. Agreed, Rachel. With mud pies we can build. Great attitude!

  3. I've always loved this story. I have actually used it in a few lessons/talks. I love the 5 easy steps. I have trouble with #2 & #5. I just expect so much from others.
    Im glad you are blogging. I will wait patiently (? maybe lol) for the next one. Keep em coming!

  4. Great story. I love a good fable, and so much we can learn from them. Though you never did explain if the farmer owned a Collie named Lassie. I've always wondered about that one.


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