The Old Mule
This old farmer had a mule that fell into the farmer’s well. The water wasn’t very deep, so the mule was able to stand on the bottom. After assessing the situation the farmer sympathized with the mule but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving. The farmer called his neighbours together and told them what had happened and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially the mule was hysterical, but as the farmer and his neighbours continued to shovel dirt on his back a thought struck him. It dawned on the mule that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back he would shake it off and step up. This he did, blow after blow of dirt hitting his back.
Shake it off and step up… Shake it off and step up… Shake it off and step up. The mule repeated this statement over and over to encourage himself no matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept on shaking it off and stepping up.
It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped over the wall of the well. What had seemed would bury him actually saved him because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
The moral of the story: That’s life. If we face our problems and respond to them positively and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness or self-pity… the adversities that come along to bury us often have within them the very real potential to benefit us.
Remember… Amateurs built the ark (Noah’s). Professionals built the Titanic.