Excerpts - Donkey Story Regarding Happiness
There’s a story told that a man’s donkey wandered off in the middle of the night; and, therefore, he had to carry his knapsack down the road on his own shoulder. He didn’t have his donkey to ride in the middle of the day.
Then he met a stranger in the heat, and he told him how miserable everything was. He was so unhappy because he lost the donkey and now he was having to walk and carry his knapsack on his back. So the stranger that he was telling all this story to invited him to come sit under the shade with him. The stranger said just leave your knapsack there - - we’ll sit over here under the shade and refresh ourselves. I have some water with me in a canteen.
So the stranger gave him a drink and the guy was carrying on, still just as miserable as he could be. Suddenly, the stranger got up, grabbed the knapsack and ran off with it. The guy, now, was in one terrible state.
Meanwhile, the stranger slipped into the bushes and waited a little bit until he saw the guy coming. Then he laid the knapsack out in the road; and when the guy found it there, he was very happy.
So the stranger came out and said, “Now you were unhappy because you didn’t have a donkey.” “Then you lost your knapsack, and now you’re happy because you found your knapsack, and you’re in the same boat you were in when the donkey wandered off, but now you’re happy.”
So you see, it’s really very simple to decide that we will have a different viewpoint, but if I choose to be a victim, I am obviously what the world calls unhappy, right?
Now if I’m doing something, I don’t think about whether I’m happy or not., but I have a certain amount of satisfaction in doing or being on the way to doing. I’m now in motive, and I quit thinking about being happy.
So we tell people if you are trying to be happy, we’ll guarantee you’ll be miserable. I don’t know whether you’ll ever be happy or not, but if you forget all about trying to be happy, you wouldn’t trade places with anybody in the world.
Happiness is that proverbial thing—the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that you can’t find. It’s the bluebird saying that “you can have your wishes if you can sprinkle salt on the bluebird’s tail.” So in other words, it’s an illusion. It’s a joke played on mankind, and most of us have bought it. We’re trying to be happy, and who knows what it means - - and why bother with it anyway.
If there is such a thing, I’m sure it’s a byproduct of not giving a ‘durn’ about being happy—if there is even such a thing. Who wants it anyway, it may be that all you would do is sit under a shade tree and vegetate.