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I found the following post,, while cruising TMF hoping to discover the post that is most meaningful to me. I've picked this one because it educated, amused and enriched me – of course. But it does so in a way that's simple yet profound, humble yet cutting, and even pretty moving. In short, it's a perfect example of why I became a Fool and continue to be one.

Entitled “A Parable”, this post tells the tale of a boy and an old man who kowtow to the criticisms of passersby until they wind up moronically dropping their donkey off a bridge. It ends with the simple moral “If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass good-bye.”

It educated me because as soon as I was done reading it, I saw clearly how I am exactly like the guys in the story. I have allowed others to tell me what to do with my career and my finances causing me to lose focus and screw up big time on both fronts. The brutally stated moral confirms my desire to cut ties with a dark past and take responsibility for creating my own bright future.

It amused me because I picture myself looking over the bridge like a yo-yo, wondering how the heck I could be so stupid as to metaphorically try to carry my donkey. And the laughter takes the sting off the pain.

It enriched me because I have taped it to my computer and will use it to increase the value of my portfolio and of the size of my next salary. It also moved me, and that alone is enriching. Here's this mysterious poster, Ihaselden, who has posted this parable for no apparent reason other than to share it. I have almost certainly never met nor ever will meet him/her yet we have connected... pretty deeply. I find that moving.

For these reasons “A Parable” posted 02/06/02 at 11:20 p.m. on the Living Below Your Means board is the post that has been most meaningful to me.
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When Life Gives You Lemons
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