Once a man who lived with his grandson took the boy to market with him. They enjoyed themselves but it was a long journey, so the old man bought a donkey and set his grandson on it. Then they started their trip home. The talked and walked peacefully and joyfully. All went well until they met a man on the road who said, “I can’t believe that little boy would make you, an old man, walk while he, who is young and strong, rides the donkey. How shameful.”
So, the boy got off the donkey and the grandfather got on and rode. A few miles down the road they met a woman who said, “I can’t believe you, a grown man, is riding while you make that little boy walk.”
Then the grandfather and grandson both got on the donkey and rode. Not much farther down the road they met two men walking together. One of them said to the other, “Can you believe that? Those two people are riding on that poor little donkey.” Then he called out to the grandfather and grandson, “How shameful! You two are putting too much weight on that poor donkey.”
Both the man and the boy got off the donkey and instead of riding, they now led the donkey, but before they reached their home, they met a group of people on the road who laughed at them for leading a donkey. A woman called out, “How funny! You two have a perfectly good donkey and no one is riding it.”
Then the grandfather hung his head, exasperated. No matter what it did, someone said it wasn’t right and everyone had a different opinion, so he put the grandson back on the donkey as he had originally wanted to and led him home.
MORAL to the STORY: My friend, Al Carter, used to say that opinions are like anal openings—everybody’s got one and they often stink.
NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO—SOMEBODY WILL FIND FAULT WITH IT.
So, I again refer to a law of the spiritual universe: listen to your own heart. The old man’s true self was led to give his grandson a ride. It was only when he and the boy started listening to the opinions of others that things got wonky.