A man was walking his donkey down the center of the street. A bystander said, “What a stupid man, why don’t you ride the donkey?” The man thought, “He’s right, I really should ride the donkey.” A little while later, someone else said, “ Look at this - here is this big man riding a small donkey; he has no compassion at all for the donkey.” The man thought, “Oh, he’s right.” He felt such overwhelming compassion for the donkey that he put the donkey on his own back and carried him down the street! A short while later, another bystander said “ What a stupid man - he’s carrying the donkey on his back!” The man thought, “Of course, he’s right.” He didn’t know what to do, so he just let the donkey go. Then another bystander said, “What a stupid man, he let go of a perfectly good donkey.”
The point of the story is that no matter what you are doing, there will always be someone to criticize you. Its important to check your intention, and if you know that you are doing good things, don’t stop doing them just because someone criticizes you. Although we can learn a lot from constructive criticism, we shouldn’t let other people’s perceptions (or misperceptions) become the obstacle or excuse even, for us to stop doing good things.
Another point of the story is that sometimes the right thing is to carry the donkey on your back, or to walk beside it, or let it go. Only you really know what the best thing to do is at the time. Check your intention. If you are coming from the heart, keep doing good things.
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