A story retold. First found on the web, it was too good a story to pass up. It’s about a donkey who fell into a well and how he got himself out of an almost impossible situation. Question is, hmmm, how would we handle the same challenge if it was us?
Once upon a time there was an old donkey and he was the sweetest donkey you could ever find. There he was out walking in the field one day and was so lost in his thoughts, feeling ever so grateful for the fine day and the freedom to go where he pleased, when he fell into an old well. Oops!
The well wasn’t all that deep but it wasn’t all that shallow either. He tried every which way he could think of to get out. But nothing worked. He was beginning to feel very scared and desperate.
Thankfully, his master, the farmer heard his piteous cries. But he didn’t know how to get the old donkey out either. He did try but nothing worked.
And then the farmer thought, well, the donkey was really old and anyway, it was practically of not much use around the place. Old that it was!
So he got a shovel and along with a bunch of his farmhands, started to pile dirt and stones into the old well. The old donkey couldn’t believe what was happening. My God! How could they! They were to trying to bury him alive! He began to cry even more piteously.
And then he stopped. He looked up and he looked down as each shovel of dirt came down. With each plop of earth, he started to climb ever that much higher.
Finally, even the people up above realised what a smart donkey he really was. He may be old but he was definitely not past by his used-by date. Not by a long shot!
Thing is, life will certainly rain all sorts of dirt and stones on us at some point or other. Some days you just have to agree with the Buddha. Life can be full of suffering. One sort or the other. They never seem to end….
Back to the story. How we handle the suffering and challenges is what separates the wheat from the chaff. The more consciously aware we are, the more grace we will bring to every situation, good, not so good, and the really bad.
Like the old but wise donkey, I guess we can get out of any situation if we learn to not cave in, give up, or become apathetic.
Shake off the dirt and step on it. And that’s how we get out.