A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule braying- or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. 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. He enlisted 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! (Wouldn't you be with dirt being flung on you?) But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This 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. 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 !

Well, it wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL! What seemed like would bury him, actually blessed him...all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

As we prepare for the New Millenium, perhaps there is a lesson that we can learn from this old mule. We all have things that have happened during the past year, or throughout our lives, that have covered us with anguish, disappointment, anger, depression or despair. As we prepare to enter into the New Age, it is vital that we shake off this dirt from the past and step through the Millennial gateway with a cleansed mind and renewed hope for the times to come. May the New Year and the New Age be filled with the promise of a better world for all of us to share.

Brightest Blessings for the year ahead
-- Diogenes MacLugh --

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