Lessons from the Donkey


The donkey is usually not one of our favourite animals or pets. As a matter of fact, it is one of those animals often looked down upon, and used as a beast of burden. Sometimes a stupid or inept person is referred to as a donkey. However, a donkey is not as stupid as we are made to believe. The donkey in the story you’re about to read offers us the panacea for handling the challenges that we are likely to encounter not only in our homes or places of work but also how to deal with them. One day a donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried out for help but to no avail. Then a passerby that lives in the neighbourhood heard the piteous cry of the donkey as he tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was even too old to rescue, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all the neighbours to come over and help him.

They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. When the donkey realized what was happening he cried out horribly then to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. But they kept on shoveling sand into the pit. Then, finally the man looked down the pit, and to his greatest surprise he saw that with each shovel of sand that hit the donkeys back he would shake it off and take a step up. As the man and his neighbors continued to shovel sand 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!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of it is shaking it off and taking a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Sometimes the school environment and work environment can be hostile. But it’s up to you how you deal with it. You must know how to turn your trials into stepping stones your walls into bridges to crossover and your lemons into lemonade to refresh your spirit


It doesn’t matter what people think of you. It’s what you think about yourself and your capabilities that count. Although the donkey in the story was considered ‘old’ and of no use, it still had enough strength to shake off the heavy loads of sand shoveled on it. No one can tell
you it’s over unless you say that to yourself.

Donkeys help people bear their burdens; hence they are referred to as ‘beasts of burden’. Be a bearer of peoples burdens don’t close your eyes to the needs of others, when you’re in a position to help them. The joy of living knowing fully that you put a smile on someone else’s face, or made a difference in the life of another person. Life is too short! Make the most of every opportunity you have to bless others.

Attitude is everything. Imagine if the donkey in this story did not have the right attitude it wouldn’t be alive. No matter how deep the ‘well’ is that you fall into (whether its sickness, financial crisis, loss of a loved one or loss of a job etc.) you can come out of it, if you only have the right attitude. It is often said that ‘your attitude is your best friend or your enemy’. It is important to always maintain the right attitude everywhere you find yourself. The right attitude
towards everything goes a long way as we all know donkeys are very unassuming animals. They are not puffed up or proud. They are selfless and humble. It is said that ‘pride goes before a fall’. Therefore it is always important to maintain a healthy disposition in life. Humility and the right attitude will get you anywhere. No one wants to be around an arrogant or proud person. No matter who you are, and where you are, don’t forget to stay humble and remember no condition is permanent.


By Maimuna Bagudu