A mule fell into the farmer’s well. 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 shaking it off and stepping up!
Yes! It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of the well! What seemed likely to bury him, actually helped him…all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
That’s life! Each of life’s problems is a stepping-stone. 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 us. We only need to remind ourselves to “shake it off and step up” to lift ourselves out of the wells in which we find ourselves!