A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule which fell into the farmer’s well one morning. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying’ desperately from its hopeless position, battered and bruised. The mule looked upward for a savior.
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…eventually enlisting 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 as his awful plight soured further. But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back…a thought struck the stubborn mule. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back… HE SHOULD SIMPLY SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!
And so 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 as the well grew shorter and the light above grew brighter.
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 wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall as the neighbors and a farmer once intent on burying him learned a lesson about overcoming adversity in their own lives.