Aesop’s fable of the Obama administration

A MAN and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?”

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”

Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor Donkey of yours—you and your hulking son?”

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the Donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the Donkey to their shoulders.

They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and was drowned.

“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them: “PLEASE ALL, AND YOU WILL PLEASE NONE.”

via The Harvard Classics.


Update 4/23/2016.  I no longer believe that President Obama’s problem is that he tries to please everyone.  He is purposeful and successful in achieving his goal, which is to defend the status quo.

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2 Responses to “Aesop’s fable of the Obama administration”


    Is It Coincidental That You Use A African Seer Or One Of The Wisest Men Of The Ancient East!



    LOKMAN IS THE MOST celebrated sage of the East. So great is his fame there that there is still a saying, “To teach wisdom to Lokman,” which is the equivalent of “Carrying coals to Newcastle.”
    In Islam his fame equals that of Solomon in the Christian-Jewish world. Mohammed quoted him as an authority and named the thirty-first chapter of the Koran after him.
    Much that is said about him is legendary. The Arabs say that he lived about 1100 B.C., was a coal-black Ethiopian with woolly hair, and was the son of Baura, who was a son or a grandson of a sister of Job. Lokman is often confused with Aesop, who was also Black and who, it appears, adapted some of Lokman’s fables to his own use. Aesop lived about 500 years later than Lokman.


  2. Useful Lessons From A Story: "The Man, The Boy, and the Donkey" Says:

    […] the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned (material source 1, material source […]


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