This weekend I had to work on Saturday. Definitely not my favorite thing to do...but you do what ya gotta do. I was the MC for two different scholarship events. Since my day job is as a public speaker, being an MC is a natural fit...but to be honest I just wasn't into it. When it's your job to keep a 3 hour program moving along, and making sure the 700 people in the room don't get bored to tears....you've gotta bring your A-game. One of the toughest thing to do as a professional speaker is sit through bad speeches. It's dreadful. So at both events I braced myself for the usual rambling, droning, babbling obligatory speeches that inevitably occur. I am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. Don't get me wrong....there were some stinkers. However, the official Guest Speaker at the second event of the day was great. He told a story that I had to share....especially with other writers. I don't know the official name, so I'm just going to call it "The Mule Story".
A local farmer was digging a hole for a new well. When he wasn't looking, his trusty old mule wandered over and fell into the hole. The farmer couldn't figure out how to get the mule out of the hole. After several failed attempts at retrieving the mule, he decided to bury it. He could always get another mule. The mule stood there in dumbfounded disbelief as the farmer threw shovel fulls of dirt onto him. Showered with dirt, all the poor beast could do was shake it and step on top of it. The dirt rained down on him relentlessly and the mule continued to shake it off and step on it, refusing to be buried by the farmer. As he continued to shake it off and step on it, the hole began to fill beneath his hooves.
He kept repeating his mantra...shakeitoffsteponit....shakeitoffsteponit... until finally he reached the top and climbed out of the hole.
In life, but esepcially as writers or artists, we encounter rejection or outright dirt slinging. There are times when we just want to lay down, and allow ourselves to be buried by the crushing weight of it all. In those moments, we should all be like the mule. Shake it off and step on it.