Contributed By John Dealey

In a wonderful, but simple way this parable tells the story of what can happen when we face big challenges. Basically there are two options: 1) we can give up or 2) we can use our creative powers with a positive attitude.

"The Parable Of The Mule"

Once there was a farmer who owned an old mule. One day the mule fell into a 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 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!". To encourage himself he repeated these words. 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 at the top 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, 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 POTENTIAL TO BENEFIT US! All we have to do is find them. **The idea for the 747 airplane came after a "disaster", the ending of a military contract to build an airplane with a HUGE capacity.

John Dealey, Dallas, Texas
voicemail: (214)369-3604 or fax: (214)692-8586
or e-mail: John@SmileWorld.com