Have you ever found yourself at the point of making a very important decision and then freezing at the thought of what others would think or say about your decision? The many different imagined scenarios, the advice and warnings, the fear of going ahead with the decision and being told “we told you so” when you fail! Worse still having your choice laughed at and ridiculed? Plays out like a bad nightmare, the kind where you wake up screaming and confused! You have probably had this experience at least twice… just today.
You might have heard this tale before, but I will tell it to you anyway:
“A man and his son went to a market to buy a donkey. On their return from the market as the two walked alongside their donkey they passed a group of farmers, the farmers laughed and pointed at how stupid they looked walking when they had a donkey so the Son climbed atop the donkey whilst the Father walked alongside, as they continued on their way they met another group of people who shook their heads at what they saw, “such disrespect for the Elderly” they said. “Should it not be the Father riding the donkey rather than the young strong son?” upon hearing this, the son climbed down from the donkey and the Father climbed onto the donkey and rode it whilst the son walked alongside. Further still down the road they met yet another group of people who laughed uproariously? “look at the lazy man riding whilst his poor boy walks why does he not let him get up on to the donkey so both of them can ride?!” Again upon hearing this, the son got back up onto the donkey behind his father and the two rode the donkey down the road. If only that was the end of it… Further down the road the unfortunate pair met the last group of farmers “Look at those two lazy fools, just because it is a beast of burden doesn’t mean it must be burdened by their fat lazy carcasses, let them carry the donkey so that they can see how it feels!” Yep you guessed it, the father and son got down from the donkey and indeed carried it on their backs down the road all the way home.”
There are 2 morals here:
1. You can’t please everybody
2. Don’t let people tell you what to do with your Ass!
It’s funny how major life changing decisions, decisions that are personal in nature always have to take into account someone else’s opinion, an opinion that has no basis and is probably very ill informed. When buying a car, rather than thinking about the cost implication, and our personal preference, we think ‘what will our friends or family say? Will they be suitably impressed? What would work colleagues say? Will the church think I am rich and should therefore contribute more? Or will they think it is too flashy a car?’ What about when choosing a potential partner? Do we think about that person’s compatibility to us or do we think about what people will say about that person’s appearance, race, nationality, financial status or even gender?
I wish everyone could make their decisions based on what I thought.. Just imagine it! Nobody would drive a car except me (save on the gas emissions, safe for the environment and all) All beautiful sexy women – except me – would wear hijab and all hot men would walk around shirtless, 50% of the world’s population would be dead because I thought they needed to eat S*** and die and everyone would exist on a strict low carb diet. Ok so maybe a little bit extreme but it is my opinion and everyone is entitled to one!
And that is exactly the point. Everyone has an opinion; everyone will always have their own opinion. Whatever we decide to do with our lives, to one person it will be the right choice and to another the worst decision ever. The worst damage we do to ourselves is in fact imagining what people are thinking when they have no thought on the matter at all and in fact couldn’t care less what we decide to do with our lives!!
At the end of the day we need to make the choices based on what is right according to our own personal opinion and not other people’s opinions imagined or fact. So whether you are in love with a Rasta or your favourite car is a Fiat 500 or you choose to paint for a living or write, it’s your choice because at the end of the day you have to live with that decision.
“My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.”