Written by Sweety Vyas

A man and his grandson went to town with their donkey. The man made his grandson sit on the donkey. He walked beside them. A passerby remarked, “Look at the selfish grandson. He is sitting comfortably on the donkey while the old man is walking.” Hearing this, the man took his grandson off and sat on the donkey himself. His grandson walked by his side.

Another passerby saw them and remarked, “What a selfish old man. He is sitting comfortably on the donkey and is making the young boy walk in the blistering heat.” After hearing this, the old man pulled up the young boy on the donkey’s back. Now both the old man and the young boy rode on the donkey.

Seeing this, another passerby commented, “Look what a heavy load is on the donkey. It is indeed cruel.”

Hearing this the old man decided to tie the four legs of the donkey on a staff and both the grandfather and the boy carried the donkey on their shoulders. Looking at this, people commented, “The old man and his grandson are totally crazy..” 

When we try to please everyone, we please no one. Someone will find fault no matter what we do. Aristotle has remarked, ”There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” When others disapprove of what we do, we need not take it to heart. We can carry on knowing that they have a right to their opinion, and we have a right to ours. Criticism can sometimes act as a springboard to purify our heart. Just as fire tests gold by burning away impurities and leaving pure 24 karat gold, in the same way criticism strengthens us. It makes us tolerant and forgiving.  

Not everyone can understand our point of view. People will understand what they want to understand. People who should be in your life will understand you no matter what you do. Those that are not in alignment with your views will not agree. Dealing effectively with criticism requires emotional maturity. When you are criticized, reflect upon it. Is the criticism valid? If so, have the wisdom to correct yourself. If not, do not take it personally and move on. Do not let it stick. Your bliss and freedom are ultimately in your own hands.

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