Monday, January 16, 2012

The Donkey and the Load of Salt

A wealthy merchant bought many baskets of salt, and tied them on his donkey to carry them to market. On the way, as they crossed a shallow river, the donkey slipped beneath his heavy load and fell into the water. By the time he scrambled to his feet again, half the salt in the baskets had been washed away.
                The merchant cursed at the loss. But the donkey was pleased to discover that the baskets were only half as heavy as before. And he cheerfully carries his lightened load to market.
                At the market, the merchant sold what was left of his salt and bought several bags of sponges. Tying them on the donkey’s back, he set out again for home. When they came to the river, the donkey thought of what happened on his way to the market. He pretended to slip and rolled into the water, hoping his load would be lightened.
                But the sponges were not washed away. Instead, they soaked up water until they swelled fat and heavy. The merchant drove the donkey to his feet again, and the beast staggered home under a load twice as heavy as before.

The method should suit the circumstances.

          That donkey, in my opinion, is really stupid, but I guess that is the whole point of the story. Yet this can happen in real life in a not as stupid context. For example, if two soccer teams are playing each other, then they have to develop their play strategy based on the opposite team. Should they be offensive, defensive, conservative, or aggressive is up to them, but they can't just pick one strategy and hope that it will work for every team that they play. The same goes for school. If you’re studying for a test in math, you're obviously not going to figure out when World War 2 started. And if you are studying in math, you should try and do practice problems because that is usually how you study for math. You can't study for it by reading a book about how math was invented. Reading a book about math is related but the second way will not help you on studying for the math test. Your method of studying should be tailored to the situation.

          I think that the only reason people in this world are successful is that they know many methods on how to move up in the world, whether it’s to flatter someone, or work so hard that you can't even string a sentence together the next day. They know all of these methods so they have a variety to choose from when the occasion hits them. School will teach you some of these things like taking notes and studying, but some of them like, how to flatter your boss, is something you must learn on your own. And then you can use these methods to help you in any kind of situation. But once you master all of these things, you have to know when to use them so you don't end up doing something stupid like the donkey.

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