Egyptian Donkey story

“Okay, so the story goes, there’s this old man and his son, kay, and the old man and his son were traveling somewhere, okay, and they had one donkey. And so, as he’s going along, the first time he goes, he sits on the donkey and has son walk next to him okay. And as he’s going along, he hears these people jeering at him, judging and saying ‘Look at, look at that horrible father, he’s making his poor little son walk while he sits high and proud on his donkey, enjoying himself.’ Okay, and he hears all these things and he’s like ‘Oh crap, let me change some things.’ And then he…and then he puts his son on the donkey and he starts walking himself, and they all say, ‘Is this old man stupid? He’s 70-something, he has old bones, he has an old back and he’s so weak, and he has his strong healthy son on the donkey. How spoiled, what a stupid man.’ So he hears them, and so he’s like, okay, so he puts his son and himself on the donkey and people start whispering saying ‘Wow, POOR DONKEY, how dare they put 2 people on the donkey, that’s terrible, that’s abusive.’ So he hears that, and decides they’re gonna both walk. So of course, naturally they’re like, ‘What a complete idiot, they have a donkey and they’re not even using it!’ So moral of the story is ‘Don’t listen to what other people say, do what you feel is right cause people are always gonna talk no matter what you’re doing.’ The end.”

This was an interesting story to me, mostly because I know the informant well, and I feel that she takes that message to heart. She takes much pride in being Egyptian too and though this may be a reach, from the few Egyptian people I have met, they seem to be very outspoken and also direct in their actions. There are probably different forms of this story and moral across cultures, though I believe that it would be more of a Western idea, rather than an East Asian one, where customarily the group is put in front of the individual. Society can make contradictory judgements, so sometimes it’s better to step away and not listen to it.