The Parable Of The Mule
Not written by, but passed along by David G. Markham, C.S.W.

Once there was a farmer who owned an old mule. One day the mule fell into the farmer's well and the farmer heard the mule 'praying' or whatever mules do when they fall into wells.

     After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving.

     Instead, he called his neighbors together, 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 old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back he could shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow. "Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!", He repeated this to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought "panic" and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up.
It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well. What seemed like it would bury him actually helped him...all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

     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 usually have within them the very real potential to benefit us. Never give up. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

          Take it easy, one step at a time. Whether you are aware of it or not, the world is unfolding exactly as it should. While external events are often outside of our control, our response is always inside our control. No matter what life dumps on you, and whether you believe it or not, you are a good person; you deserve to be happy.

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