Most People Are Other People

be differentOne hot afternoon a young child and his father set out for the market. Their donkey was with them. All three walked side by side. Near the river, they came across a group of women, who said, “See how tired the little child has become. Why don’t you put him on the donkey?” The father smiled and did exactly that.

After a few minutes, they crossed a hill. Here they met some of the village elders. They smirked at the young son and said to him, “How shameful! Your father is walking and you are comfortably sitting on the donkey. Get off! Let him be comfortable. You are a young lad now!” The child, embarrassed, slid off the donkey immediately and offered the seat to his father.

After walking a few miles, they met a few men from their village, who exclaimed, “What a fool you are! Riding all alone on the donkey – the donkey is strong enough to take the weight of your child and you, so why make your poor son walk?” The father sighed and took his son along with him upon the donkey.

When they were about to reach the market they ran into the village vet. With shock on his face, he screamed, “Do you have no sense? Look at the poor donkey! If you subject him to so much weight and such inhuman behavior, surely the helpless creature will fall ill. Don’t come to me then!” Saying this, he shook his head and walked away grumbling.

The father and the son looked at each other. They had tried all the different options, besides one. They counted one, two, and three, hoisted the donkey on their backs, and entered the market. Everyone in the market stopped doing what they were, stared at the strange sight, and burst out laughing.

Moral: Trying to please everyone never works.

I often attend business meetings where politics and positioning is something of a constant circus. Today there is a business gathering I will be attending where some will be jockeying for position and others will be vying to get noticed. I shall not be one of them. Instead I shall present myself clearly and honorable as I uniquely am. My presentation will be accepted or not. That won’t be of my choosing. My ideas are sound and worth merit and if none can see that, it will be their loss. I am grateful for this moment of clarity to put me in a good frame of mind for today.

Most people are other people.
Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions,
their lives a mimicry,
their passions a quotation.
Oscar Wilde