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The story is told of an old man whose grandson rode a donkey while they were traveling from one city to another. The old man heard some people mumbling, "Would you look at that old man walking, suffering on his feet, while that strong young boy is totally capable of walking?"

The criticism cut deeply, so he changed positions. The old man started riding the donkey while the boy walked. Sure enough others started grumbling. "Would you look at that—a healthy man riding the donkey and making that poor little boy suffer! Can you believe that?"

To avoid further criticism, the old man changed again. This time, he and the boy both hopped up on the donkey. They both started riding. You guessed it, people still criticized him. He could hear people saying, "Would you look at those heavy brutes making that poor donkey suffer."

So he and his grandson jumped down and they both started walking. He thought, No one will criticize us for this. But people are fickle. He soon heard some people say, "Would you look at that waste-—a perfectly good donkey not being used." The old man was at his wits’ end. What should he do? The old man decided to carry both the donkey and boy.

Do you ever at your wits’ end not know what to do? This old man tried to make wise decisions but ended up carrying a monstrous burden. Why? He looked to his own knowledge to resolve his problem of receiving criticism.

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