The Parable of the Donkey

A traveler bought a donkey to haul his belongings. He had a long way to go, and could not carry all of his belongings himself. He chose a fine, strong donkey, from a breeder who was known for breeding sturdy pack animals.

The man loaded his belongings onto the donkey, and set out upon his journey. After a number of days, he reached a city. He entered the marketplace, and there he saw many merchants, selling all sorts of wares. One merchant caught his eye. He sold hats, for donkeys. The traveler thought the hat so interesting he just had to have it. He bought it and put it upon his donkey. It covered the donkey’s ears, and made it harder for the donkey to hear, but the man liked the hat so much, he hardly considered it. He did wonder why his donkey was less responsive to his commands, but blamed it on the animal.

He traveled on. In the next city, his attention was taken by a merchant selling leg decorations for donkeys. This he had to have! He quickly bought a set of four and fastened them onto the donkey. He thought they looked very fetching. His donkey adopted a funny walk to keep from bashing the leggings into each other, and the man found himself criticizing the donkey for being awkward.

In the next city on his route, he discovered a decorative pack saddle. It was far heavier than the plain one he had been using, and it did not accommodate the burden as easily. But he liked it so well, he strapped it to his donkey, and loaded his goods onto the pack saddle. The load was somewhat unbalanced, and some items had to be tied to the side with ropes, where they dangled and beat upon the donkey’s legs. At the end of the day, some goods were damaged, and the man was angry with the donkey.

A city later, he found a full body blanket for his donkey. It was meant for night use, but he liked it so well that he unloaded the donkey, put the blanket on, and reloaded the animal. During the hot day, the poor beast overheated, and had to rest more frequently than usual. The man cursed his donkey for being slow and lazy.

Traveling on, the man found a merchant selling shoes for his donkey. Not the typical iron shoes, but full covering, lace up shoes. He thought them so clever that he immediately put them on his donkey and happily paid a high price for them. The donkey could no longer feel the earth beneath it’s feet. It stumbled and plodded instead of stepping lightly. The man found he needed to hit his donkey to keep him moving fast enough.

The man was angry that his donkey was no longer the sturdy and sure animal he had bought. It frustrated him. He beat the animal to make it go faster, and to punish it when it stumbled, and hollered and cursed it when it did not obey his commands.

Finally, he could take it no longer. Arriving in a small desert town, he determined to sell his donkey for what he could get, and purchase a new one. In a hurry, and frustrated with his animal, he sold it and only removed his original traveling packs, leaving the animal to the new owner with all the trappings in place, and set off with his new donkey (a quick and responsive beast), with his eye out for new accessories to bestow on this new and “better” animal.

The new owner of his old donkey patiently removed the blanket, the pack saddle, the hat, the shoes and leggings, and rubbed down the tired animal. He fed it a good meal and rested it for several days. Then he placed a plain and simple pack saddle on it, loaded it with a sizeable burden, and marveled at the strength and sure-footedness of this donkey that had been described as a weak and clumsy thing. He set out on the road, soon passing the first traveler, who was making his way with his new donkey, slower and slower, as he again loaded it with unnecessary trappings.

It seems so clear when it is choices someone else is making regarding a donkey. But when it is our own website, and we think the next new gadget is “really cool”, we have a harder time making wise choices.

The rule is simple… If it does not help achieve the primary goal, don’t do it.

If you want your website to SELL, then don’t put things on that get in the way of that. Otherwise, your website will be less responsive, slower, and will stumble and fail to perform effectively.

Grow a Garden!

Gardening doesn't have to be that hard! No matter where you live, no matter how difficult your circumstances, you CAN grow a successful garden.

Life from the Garden: Grow Your Own Food Anywhere Practical and low cost options for container gardening, sprouting, small yards, edible landscaping, winter gardening, shady yards, and help for people who are getting started too late. Plenty of tips to simplify, save on work and expense.