By | July 1, 2011 72 Comments

A story with a moral

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (Retired)

My friends are always sending me funny emails and jokes. My box fills up with them every day, and some of them I have seen “a hundred” times before and I just delete them. But the following story, though I had seen it “a hundred” times before, struck me today, as it really does have a good moral.

An old man, a boy and a donkey Ӭwere going to town.Ӭ The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked.

As they went along they passed some people who remarked, “What a shame ”¦ the old man”¨ is walking and 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 they then 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.”

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

As they crossed the bridge,Ӭ they lost their grip on the animalӬand he 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!

Too many times in this life I have found myself “trying to please everyone.” Most of the time when I did that, I ended up not only not pleasing anyone, I hurt myself in the process, because I never even considered what I wanted to do or what I thought was reasonable!

I can look back on many of the “adventures” I have had in my life (an ADVENTURE is the RESULT OF POOR PLANNING), and see just where I went wrong. Much of the time, the adventure was caused by me trying to please someone else, or someones (plural) else.

I’m not saying here that you should never listen to what other people advise you, or that you should never take someone else’s opinion into consideration, because sometimes people do have ideas that we never considered that will make a situation easier. There are other times, though, when people have opinions on how we are doing things that are emotionally based “bad ideas,” that we should discard and listen to our own good common sense.

For example, the first critics objected to the old man walking and the boy riding. Number one, both the man and the boy were obviously “okay” with the situation just as it was, and the old man was comfortable walking and the boy was comfortable riding, and frankly, in some situations I’d rather walk than ride a horse or a donkey. So if they were comfortable, as things were, they should have continued doing what they were doing, but they decided to change.

Then the second set of critics so again, the old man and the boy both decided to walk, and they seemed happy enough with that until the third set of critics came along and criticized them for not both riding the donkey ”¦ and so on, until, listening to the last set of critics, they very uncomfortably decided to carry the donkey. Now I don’t know if you can even imagine how the donkey would have squirmed and wiggled trying to get its feet on the ground, but it would have been trying hard to do just that, and it would be no surprise to me that it fell off the shoulders of the old man and the boy and drowned in the river.

I’ve always heard the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So if your life is going well, and someone else doesn’t like the way you are running it ”¦ you might think once or twice or even three times before you change how you are doing things.

Psychopaths come into our lives and somehow seem to make us unhappy or dissatisfied with how our successful life is going, and they want us to change something about how we are doing things, even though we may be quite satisfied that our life is going along quite well. Though it is definitely none of their business whether we “ride the donkey or walk,” they have something to say about it, and that is, “we are doing it wrong.” So if you are satisfied with your life, if things are going along well, don’t let someone else make you think you are being abusive to your ass, because if you let them influence you too much, and don’t think for yourself, you may just be like the old man and the boy and lose your ass.

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very nice reminder Oxy.


Dear Oxy,

Very true story, we lose ourselves if we try to be what eveyone else wants us to be or do what everyone else wants us to do. We remain trapped in an endless cycle and never get our needs meet as a result. The end product of our lives of endless people pleasing is a life of depression, illness, and general malaise.

Always listen to your instincts and be true to yourself. Good story Oxy, it makes tons of sense. I like your no-nonsense approach.

Ox Drover

Thanks Petite and Hope4joy,

I’ve “lost my ass” so many times in this life by trying to please others, when in fact, I was happy and my ass was happy and we were all doing well until I tried to “please” someone else LOL

The old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” also comes to mind when I think about this situation of “fixing” this or that….too many times I have (at someone else’s demand) tried to “fix” something in my life that was not broken….and ended up with it VERY broken.


What I got from this tale is that you should have your own opinions. Otherwise you can get talked into anything.

My spath never criticized me or told me how to make my life better. But at 17, I really had no opinions on anything and just allowed him to decide what was best. After awhile that became the easy decision: whatever spath wants.

Of course all the while he was sabotaging both of our decisions because the goal was to make life seem futile and hopeless.

Ox Drover

Sky, I think that is pretty well what the fable says, is that you need to be able to have your OWN opinions about things because if you try to please everyone you end up “losing your ass” in the end.

Unfortunately, too many times, WAYYYYY too many times I’ve tried to please everyone…but I still have Fat and Hairy so I’m not entirely without my asses! LOL It is so hot I don’t see them until after the sun goes down, they spend the days in the shade away from the worst of the heat! They have sure shed off fat and slick too, so Hairy is not very hairy any more!

LOL Oxy – sometimes asses know best.


or kiss my ass and mind your own business…


or if it ain’t broke keep fixen it until it is..

Ox Drover

ROTFLMAO CHOKE SNORT SNARK!!!!!! LOL Yep, Hens, I am getting to where I CAN tell folks to KISS MY ARSE…or my Ass, their choice! And, the best part is NOT TO EVEN FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT.

Ain’t ya proud of me!!!!! (((hugs))) Happy 4th of July weekend folks….did you know (just read this today) that only 75% of ADULT Americans can answer the question of WHO we got our independence from? The other 25% either have no idea or name a wrong country. So How is that for the AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM’S EFFECTIVENESS?????…..and we want to teach them about psychopaths???? Maybe we should teach them to read and write and basic history and math first!



hhmmmm – excuse me? I am part native choctaw indian – do you really want me to answer that?

Ox Drover

Well, hens, I realize that SOME of your ancestors were here to MEET THE BOAT (I think it was Will Rogers who said that, but not sure) but so were a few of mine…I’m 1/32nd Native American so 1 out of 32 of my ancestors was here to meet the boat! LOL But that still doesn’t mean that I don’t know that the Americans rebelled against the British! (just in case you didn’t know) LOL Besides I’m special, I got 3 arses! One to sit in a chair on to keep my back bone from hitting the wood seat, and two to PICK UP AND CARRY ! LOL


Oxy-you are so right about the basic history lessons. I love history so much. I just saw this video on facebook posted by Saving the Republic. This guy went around on the beach in California and was asking tons of people what is the 4th of July and why are we celebrating. Only 3 FREAKIN people knew that it was freedom from the British. He got the following answers though:

freedom from Mexico
freedom from America
freedom from the Nazis
the civil war
freedom from slavery

and so many others just flat out said that they didn’t have a clue!!!!!

Ox Drover

Well, Lizzy, what do you think? It was the BEACH IN CALIFORNIA for goodness sakes!!!!!….probably half of the people he interviewed were illegal aliens. LOL

and BTW I’m not sure that California is still part of the US, I think the Mexican drug cartels have taken it back after we stole it “fair and square” from Mexico along with parts of Texas and Arizona that belong to the cartels.

I used to love to go to Mexico, and love the people and the culture, but wouldn’t go there now for all the “tea in china”—lots of places in the world I used to love to travel in, but wouldn’t go there now due to all the crime and wars–if it ain’t drugs, it is terror, so I’ll stay home in my little hole in the woods.


I should have heeded the freedom from the British and not gone near my X spath…hahaha! I would be in a much better place right now!


Oxy-there weren’t any illegals there. They were all strictly caucasian. He didn’t even talk to any black people. Not a one of them had any accents at all. Maybe cuz they smoke too much weed in California.


I bet that WAY more people in the South would answer that question correctly.

Ox Drover

Actually in the article I read which had a break down of who, when and where had FEWER people in the south answering correctly…..

Here’s the link…there is a chart at the bottom. I’m not sure it is a “scientific” poll but here’s what it showed.

I’m ready to move to ALASKA at least for the summer….gosh this is terrible here….HOT!!!!!!


It is VERY hot here also…I think 92 today. Probably hotter where you are though.

Ox Drover

Louise I would GLADLY SETTLE FOR 92 degrees instead of 99 or 100 and no rain in sight!


Yuk!!! I figured it was probably hotter there. I think we have only a chance of isolated storms and you know what that means….it’s not happening!


Oxy-I feel your pain on that-it is hot is hell here and it’s so freakin humid. You pray for rain just to cool things off again. My computer is telling me that it’s only 93 here and I don’t believe that for a second. I was just outside and it feels WAY hotter than that.

Ox Drover

Well, it just went over 100 and the thermometer says it is climbing, so will not even think about going outside til about 8 tonight! The critters all have water and shade and feed, so I’m just gonna chill in the AC.


Yikes!!! And I thought I was hot!! Stay cool, Oxy…


114 here so far.

“But it’s a DRY heat!” as they like to say.

(I wonder if anyone actually finds that reassuring?)


Well well Hens, my cousin!

You are the first choctaw I’ve known outside of my family. Most folks never heard of them. I am 1/8 choctaw. My ma used to call me a little heathen. Think that’s what her pa called her. My great mother was a slave, bought by my greatgrandfather and likely never freed but he married her so she was twice the slave!! That’s some of my family history, maybe explains why I am so screwed up. I am heinz 57! My daughter has white blonde hair, high cheekbones, intense green eyes, 5’10”, size 2 when she is “fat” and tans very easily, stunning to look at but sometimes not very nice.

Ox Drover

Redwald, I spent one year living in the Imperial Valley in California, and it was NOT REASSURING AT ALL….but this humidity is terrible!


It’s so freakin hot outside. The computer says its 95 now but there’s no way-in the shade maybe. I want a snoball but I don’t even feel like getting in the hot car and losing my parking spot just to get one.


Yes, Oxy, I’d far rather have the heat than the humidity. It’s not a matter of comfort alone. Humidity brings mosquitoes, and mosquitoes seem to regard me as a special delicacy. I used to live in Massachusetts, and although it’s way cooler there, I always ended up with lumps and bumps after what would otherwise have been an enjoyable summer afternoon or evening outside in the yard. Where I used to live it’s not even 80 degrees right now, but the humidity there is over 60 percent. Here it’s only 9 percent, so we rarely see a mosquito.


Redwald-they love to chew on me too and I am in NOLA where people joke and say that the mosquito is the state bird. I am covered with bites cuz I love to be outside and I’m always out on the front steps.

Ox Drover

I used to live in East Ark where it is RICE country and I had a tee shirt with an outline of the state of Arkansas on it, inside the outline was a HUGE MOSQUITO and the caption said ARKANSAS STATE BIRD. I actually had a man offer to buy it off my body for $25 back when that was a lot of money. He thought it was the funniest tee he had ever seen.

My favorite one was the two buzzards sitting on a limb, one of them said to the other one “Patience my ass, I wanna go kill something!” That’s been my motto ever since.

Yea, In the winter I miss the Imperial valley with its warm (and sort of wet) winters but those 114 degree days and NO SHADE and can’t touch your car handles to get into your car…I think I’m just gonna go to Colorado in the summer time some where, that is when my ship comes in….I hope it is before the dock rots down though.


Oh, so that’s where Uncle Ben’s comes from. It’s not all peanuts out there after all!

We made 118 today at Sky Harbor. We haven’t had one of those for five years, and it’s also a new record for the second of July. It’s a tad cooler out where we are, so we only got 115 tops.


Haha Oxy,
You are so naive. He might have liked the tee shirt but me thinks he was willing to pay the high price b/c he wanted to see the Tshirt OFF!! 🙂

Am still laughing at Lizzy’s humor, that she believed there’s a beach full of people in Ca and they are either white or African/American. No hispanics? HA! Obviously has NOT been to ANY beach in Ca. No, Lizzy, people did not give those bad answers b/c they were illegals and didn’t know better, they gave those bad answers b/c that’s the Ca school system!! The quality comes from the Teachers unions. Race has NOTHING to do with it! But really, everybody goes to the beach.

Katy, who lived in LA for two years and left for the beach by 9a or I knew I’d never get there, the traffic on weekends was WORSE than workdays.

Ox Drover

Katy, He was gonna throw in his tee shirt in exchange for mine and I was gonna go in the bathroom and change…his suggestion— but I didn’t want to give up my tee shirt. I wore it til it fell apart!

Redwald, where the heck in the world are you? Arkansas is one of the biggest rice growing areas in the US, but a lot of our crop land is still under flood waters in the delta areas of the white river, Ark river and the Mississippi rivers. Water got over the sides of the levees and can’t drain back into the river, they have to pump it out or let it evaporate. Too late to plant crops though.

Yea, I lived in LA/CA for about 5 years 1966-72 and was sure glad to move away from there.

Ox Drover

Well, gang, gonna go put this tired old body to bedie bye! Nite nite, you guys keep it between the ditches.


Ohh you guys. Anyone would think it was hot!

You should be here ……’s 23 degrees and we are baking!! Now THIS is a heatwave. Suppose the inevitable hosepipe ban will soon be upon us.

I can’t cope with this ‘heat’ it makes my ankles swell and the insects treat me like some sticky iced bun and bite the hell out of me!!

This is NOT a pity ploy BTW but (and you knew there was a ‘but’) come on guys a bit of sympathy needed.

T – shirts…’s a logo…….



Oxy, Sky Harbor is the main airport for Phoenix. That’s where they take our “official” temperatures for the city.

Gee, that’s too bad about the floodwaters still in the delta. That’s a major loss. I guess that means no rice pudding for dessert this year. We’ll have to make do with ice cream instead. I hope the farmers manage to recover by next year.




Lizzy, oops you deleted your post to me. well, guess no reason for me to have this response so will delete too.

Happy Independence Day. And yes, it is a happy thought to not live where pot is legal and there are NO illegals, but don’t let them catch you at the border with any apples!


Katy-I deleted it cuz it was a little snarky and I hadn’t had caffeine in me before I wrote it and my neck was hurting. I thought I better not be obnoxious today, cuz there really isn’t any need for it.

I am a little worried about seeing some of my former coworkers at our 4th celebration tomorrow. Normally they wouldn’t be over here but a local band called Bonerama is playing down the street where the fireworks are. Those people are really into this particular band so I won’t be surprised if they end up over here. I don’t want to see them. I hope my friend will go down to the thing with me and not say it’s too hot. I would much rather have her with me if I see them-although I may have to put a gag over her mouth. She can tend to have a mouth on her when she wants to, especially if she meets up with people who did me wrong.


One person who would not be surprised by the results of that Independence Day poll is Professor Anders Henriksson, who ten years ago compiled a book called Non Campus Mentis, World History According to College Students. (“From the Stoned Age to the Canadian Missile Crisis… from Joan of Ark to Florence of Arabia… from Mt. Arafat to the Berlin Mall.”) Never mind the “average” American; even college freshmen don’t know much these days, as Henriksson explained:

…precious little can be taken for granted about the historical knowledge (not to mention the language skills) that freshmen bring to college. It is probably safe to assume that every American college freshman knows the following:

1. At some point in the distant past the United States fought a war of independence against a major European or Asian power. An extraordinary Tea Party was a factor.

2. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, and Richard Nixon served as presidents of the United States. Washington was the first president and Lincoln also lived a long time ago, while the latter two were in the twentieth century. Ronald Reagan and George Bush the First were more recent occupants of the Oval Office. (Jimmy Carter is already off the radar screen for more than a few young scholars of the 2000s.)

3. The United States still suffers from the horrors of its slaveholding past, whenever that was. The Civil War, which took place some time between 1750 and 1930, was mixed up with this.

4. Adolf Hitler (a foreigner of some kind) was a very bad man.

5. There was at least one World War, but absolutely not more than three.

Beyond this the ground becomes very shaky. For Canadians the knowledge base has similar depth, but somewhat different content. The American Civil War might be an iffy proposition, but all of them would certainly recognize Sir John A. MacDonald as a highly important, if deceased, prime minister. (His appearance on the ten dollar bill helps.)

The geography situation is even scarier. More than a few college freshmen cannot even locate their own home towns on a map of their state or province… Another common problem is confusing Mexico with Spain. In an effort to plumb these depths I once gave a brief geography quiz to a class of forty freshmen. About a third knew that Dublin was in Ireland. Other answers included England, China, France, South Africa, Boston, and Chicago. We can only hope that these people are not shy about asking for directions.


Redwald-that is pretty funny-and a little sad. I have heard of people who can’t find their own state on a map and that is just disturbing on so many levels.


When my daughter was learning to drive, I reminded her over and over, “Remember!! At least half the people on the road have less than average intelligence”.

It gets Even Scarier when you realize those people can vote.

I was in France, having a cup of coffee at my hotel on Pres Woodrow Wilson Blvd, when the English couple next to me insisted that Americans did not fight in WWI. And they considered themselves intellectuals. That’s why we had gotten into conversation, b/c they were reading an english language economist magazine.


And Lizzy,
It’s funny and disturbing is to ask people to name ONE US American territory… and MOST people can’t. Someone tried to convince me that a person in the USA yet was born in Puerto Rico… was an illegal! Incredible!!!


It is disturbing.


Ann Landers (or whoever writes her column for her these days) had heard of a remarkable number of Americans who think you need a passport to vacation in New Mexico.



Ox Drover

Dear Red, At the rate that Mexican citizens are taking over the southwest US it may not be long before that’s the case.

Yea, I have only been to Phoenix one time…but boy, I’ll pass on the summer weather….it is dry heat but still too hot for my taste. Weather back here has changed though, is much more humid now in the summer than when I was a kid. I have to keep my saddles and wagon harness (anything leather) in the house to keep it from molding mildewing because of the humidity.

Today it is lower than a day or two ago, but still uncomfortable outside. (at noon) so I got all my outside stuff done til just before dark. Did my worm patrol on the tomatoes and peppers (count is 3 bigg’uns! for today) The ducks said thank you!

My opinion is that there is way too little attention paid in school of the BASIC “3 Rs” “Readin, ritin, and rithmatic”

Now cursive writing is not being taught in many schools, kids are taught only to PRINT and keyboard.

English grammar is long gone and I see so many people who use to, two and too interchangeably, or use there and their interchangeably, though they have the same pronunciation the MEANINGS OF two, to and too are DIFFERENT. and Their and There are not the same word, just sound alike.

Kids now can’t count, add, or subtract without a calculator…sometimes not even with one. I was at the grocery store the other day and they had a price for an item and under it was a price PER OUNCE, For simplification I’ll say it was 10 ounces for $1.00, and they had the per OUNCE price as 1 cent per ounce. (off by a factor of 10 and the manager of the store didn’t get it! I couldn’t make him see the difference in 1.0 cent per ounce and 10. cents per ounce.

Why is this important on a blog about psychopaths? Because part of it is that the lack of an educational back ground in the 3 Rs, and literally the illiteracy of many people makes it difficult to get the concept across to them about psychopathy.

The first thing I noticed about this blog when I came here was that the people on this blog seem to be a “cut above” the average people posting on blogs of any kind or subject. More literate, smarter, etc. (and BTW “Being educated” isn’t all about how many years of school you went through, it is about how much you absorbed from what you did go to, and how you have continued to educate yourself.)

It is unfortunate but many of the very people who NEED, DESPERATELY NEED the information on this blog aren’t literate enough to read it and grasp the concepts.

When you factor in the media’s “definition” of a psychopath as Ted Bundy or Charlie Manson….it is difficult to get the concept across that people like Bernie Madoff or Jim McGreevey are ALSO psychopaths, without conscience.

So educating people about psychopaths and other complex subjects is a “start from the very basics” project I think. “Without Conscience” and “snakes in suits” are never going to be selling a million copies each. Martha Stout’s book “The sociopath next door” while it is not a “research” book, may in the end do more to educate “every day people” than all of the well written deeper books around.

We are fortunate here that many of the bloggers on LF are more educated and literate than the “average” blogger on lots of sites, but even with all our smarts and education, we got fooled, and fooled badly. So being in the company of other smart people who also got fooled, makes me feel a little better about myself. There are always new things to learn though about any subject and psychopathy is one of those there is no end to learning about, and about why we (smart people that we are) got hooked by a psychopath (or two) and how we can be more aware in the future.


Someone told me it’s not whether someone was able to fool ya Katy, it’s what ya did once ya knew.

Some people’s ego is such that they can’t admit they were scammed. THOSE are the people are upon whom my husband solidifies his power. How to get through to those people? There are none so blind as those who will NOT see.

Ox Drover

Katy, Yep….not only WILL NOT see but REFUSE to see, don’t WANT to see….and there is no way you can get someone out of denial if they don’t want out of denial.

I’ve been in a canoe in de river DE-NIAL paddling along for lots of years myself, so I can relate…LOL

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