Our story for this week comes from Aesop’s Fables.
The Ass and the Mule
A Muleteer set forth on a journey, driving before him an Ass and a Mule, both well laden. The Ass, as long as he traveled along the plain, carried his load with ease, but when he began to ascend the steep path of the mountain, felt his load to be more than he could bear.
He entreated his companion to relieve him of a small portion that he might carry home the rest, but the Mule paid no attention to the request. The Ass shortly afterward fell down dead under his burden.
Not knowing what else to do in so wild a region, the Muleteer placed upon the Mule the load carried by the Ass in addition to his own, and at the top of all placed the hide of the Ass, after he had skinned him. The Mule, groaning beneath his heavy burden, said to himself, “I am treated according to my desserts. If I had only been willing to assist the Ass a little in his need, I should not now be bearing, together with his burden, himself as well.”
This story tells the tale of what often happens in the workplace. It seems that we may refuse to recognize that the burden on a coworker may be heavy and, therefore, we should provide aid to him or her. This story makes the point well that we are eventually burdened by our own unwillingness to help.
How often have we turned a deaf ear to a person who needed help? We may have many reasons to refuse to assist, including “I am too busy” or “They don’t pay me to do someone else’s job.”
What goes ’round, comes ’round. If we are willing to assist others, we will be assisted in our time of need. We will also find that goodwill makes the workplace more pleasant.
You may ask, “What about those people who are just lazy and don’t want to do their job?” If you are concerned about “being used” by a certain coworker, ask yourself why you fear being used. Is this a pattern with this person? Discuss your feelings with him or her. You may say, “I want to help you, however, I want to know that you are doing your part to help yourself as well.”
Sometimes we pull others, and sometimes we need others to pull us.
Affirmation for the Week:
“I offer assistance before it is asked of me, I respond to a request for assistance with a cheerful disposition, knowing that when I need help, it will be cheerfully provided to me.”
Have a burden-sharing week!
Mary “Motivator” Rau-Foster