Guilt, Shame, and Death

A story about choices and reactions

Source: Tom Fisk on Pexels.

A man has a farm.

One day, he is traveling into town to sell the food he harvested at the end of the season. He is traveling with his donkey and his son.

The son gets on the donkey first. As people walk by, they say,

“What kind of son allows his dad to walk while he rides a donkey?”

So, the son and his dad exchange places, and the son is now walking. The day is getting a bit hotter. They only brought one hat, so the son allows his dad to wear it first.

More people pass them by, and now they say,

“What kind of father lets his kid walk in the heat while he rides the donkey in comfort with a hat?”

Now, they both get off the donkey, and they’re both walking alongside it instead. The dad gives the hat to his son. Now, people say,

“What kind of morons walk beside a donkey with nobody riding it, and why is the kid not giving his hat to his sunburned dad?”

Now they both get on the donkey to ride it together ,— all while nobody wears the hat — and animal activists say,

“Wow, look at these people abusing this animal as a means to sell their food.”

They finally get to a bridge that will lead them to town, but they’re both carrying the donkey, who is now wearing the hat. Along the bridge, the donkey is so heavy that they collapse and fall over, and everybody, including the donkey, dies.

I always have to explain to those close to me that no matter what you do, someone is going to have something terrible to say about you.

Sometimes, there is no intention to better you with shame and guilt.

Sometimes, it’s to make you worse. Other times, it’s as intentional as the direction the wind decides to blow in.

It’s here and it’s there, and then it’s gone.

You won’t be able to please everybody all the time. It’s impossible.

Written by

UC Berkeley, mathematics. Los Angeles. Long-time runner. Top writer on Quora, 100M+ total content views. New to Medium. Inquiries:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store