A Donkey’s Tale

We all have emotional upheaval occur in our lives, it’s the human condition. The problem is that many refuse to acknowledge it. They simply continue on with their daily routine like the donkey continuing to walk toward the carrot dangled in front of them. There are, however, a minority of people actually use this turmoil and turn it into something else; a tool in the reconstruction of the self, or the deconstruction of the ego, as it were. But what causes the divergence between these two groups? The divergence comes from the lack of understanding that there is always a choice. And from this choice comes true power: the power of the question. The donkey only understands that which is directly in front of him, the one thing that is seemingly within his grasp with only a few more steps. But after those steps he is still no closer to that which he craves, that immediate gratification, so he continues with those steps on the path laid out before him without questioning why the previous steps did not propel him any closer to his goal. He does not understand that he has a choice, so he will never understand that he can question it. If he could question his path, he may realize one of two things: 1) There is an immediate answer that requires only a superficial decision, or 2) This leads to only another question that is slightly more difficult to answer due to the ever-growing area of gray that is created by each subsequent question. The trustworthy donkey chooses to continue in order to avoid the whip of his master with nothing more than the hope that the carrot will be his in due time. But what of the donkey’s master? He, too, is on the same path, but with a broader view from his elevated seat. He can see many paths that may take them to the same destination and the obstacles they may encounter. So he asks himself, “Which obstacles are worth enduring and which are not in order to reach my destination?” He knows there is no correct path just as he knows there is no incorrect path, only the path he chooses. Every path has its own impediments. When he comes to a hindrance he had not accounted for, he is now faced with another, more difficult question. He realizes that, no matter how difficult, he must answer the question even though the answer may not be one he likes. He must question his path; he must question his decision; he must question his thinking. If he is willing to do this, he is willing to accept that he may be wrong; that his preconceived notions and ideals may be flawed. If he is not willing to do this, he becomes stagnant and, therefore, powerless.

Don’t be an ass.

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