MCS America News, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2008.
Life is going to shovel "dirt" on us, all kinds of "dirt". When a chronic
illness develops, the "dirt" may take on the form of insulting comments by
well-meaning friends and family, loss of finances/dignity/credibility, and
loneliness. This can be further compounded by the disbelief of others in
the severity of the disability, feeling misunderstood, and experiencing
sadness and anger over losses. Some may even experience persecution for
seeking understanding and acceptance from society for disabilities. It is
during these times that we must remember the donkey in the well.
Donkey in the Well
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously
for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided
the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just
wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a
shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized
what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was
astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the
donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step
As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he
would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as
the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
The lesson the donkey teaches is two fold.
The trick to dealing with life's "dirt" is to shake it off and take a step
up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. No matter how deep the well, we
can get out just by shaking it off, stepping up, not stopping, and never
The second lesson is that when you do something hurtful and try to cover
your ass, it always comes back to bite you.
Living with multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and
other chronic multi-system illnesses can be a challenge, both personally and
in the community at large. Daily challenges may seem overwhelming; however,
by taking one simple step at a time, anything can be overcome. I hope that
you will focus on the next step and never forgot the story of the donkey!
The donkey serves to inspire us to greatness!
See you at the top!
Copyrighted © 2008 MCS America