Do you handle adversity as well as the mule in the well?


Why do some people triumph over adversity and others get stopped in their tracks by comparatively minor setbacks. Some survive and overcome  horrific injuries and mutilations, wrongful imprisonment, torture and years of deprivation, never giving up hope and bouncing back when conditions improve. But others fall into the pit of despair, eventually giving up the will to overcome or even survive.

With this on my mind, I though this story by an unknown author particularly appropriate.

It came to me from My Daily Insights a service that emails me an inspiring quotation every morning and a longer story, like this one, on a Friday. The service is free and well worth a subscription.

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule “braying” or whatever mules do when they fall into wells.

After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving.

Instead he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened…and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back…a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back…he should shake it off and step up! This he did blow after blow.

“Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up!” he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!

It was not long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well. What seemed like would bury him, actually blessed him…all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

That’s life! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness or self-pity…the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us!

Remember forgiveness-faith-prayer-praise and hope…. All are excellent ways to “shake it off and step up”, out of the wells in which we find ourselves!

One more thing…”never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the titanic.”

That is the end of the story from My Daily Insights.

I have had my share of adversity too, I firmly believe that:

  • It’s not what happens to you in life, but what you do about it that counts.

Wishing you success in all your endeavours.


Peter Wright




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  1 comment for “Do you handle adversity as well as the mule in the well?

  1. May 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I want to show gratitude for writing such a good feature article, really will support me out in frequent ways…

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