Opinion: We can learn from an old man and young boy

It’s a new year for Historic City News and 2016 provided ample opportunity to learn from our critics — both those who were constructive and those who were abusive. Looking ahead to 2017 — some things will be improved, some will be discontinued, and some things will remain the old way. In discussing the next year with our advisors, we were reminded of the parable of the old man and young boy.

So the story goes, an old man, a boy, and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey, and the old man walked by his side. As they went along they passed some people who remarked “What a shame, the old man is walking, the boy is riding.”

The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later they passed some people who remarked “What a shame, he makes that little boy walk”. So, to avoid any further criticism, they decided they’d both walk.

Soon they passed some more people who remarked “They’re really stupid to walk when they have a decent donkey to ride.” Fearing people would consider them foolish, they both decided to ride the donkey.

They passed some people who shamed them again by saying “How awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.” The boy and the man figured they were probably right, so they decide to carry the donkey.

As they crossed a bridge, they lost their grip on the donkey. The donkey fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story: If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.