Of his many works, the fable of the man, his son, and the donkey, has to be among Aesop’s finest. It goes like this:
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 with 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 his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned. “That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them: “Please all, and you will please none.”
The moral is, at the moment, good advice for the democrats to heed when making decisions about what to and what not to put in the health care legislation Obama is working so hard to put through. Everyone in the nation is saying something different on what ought and ought not to be in the bill. But I, and like-minded Americans have confidence in the intelligence and perceptive nature of the Democrats in our legislature, and believe, that no matter who is shouting, to them to tweak the bill this way or that, they should stick with it.
A teacher said once, when addressing his class, myself among them, that as a parent, if one is to do anything, most of all make a mistake, he or she must “believe in the mistake he or she is making; make it whole heatedly,” or else risk “confusing the child.” Such is the same for the Democrats on Capitol Hill. Even if this latest legislation doesn’t succeed, even if the public option dissolves, and we are left where we are now, at least they will have made an effort. And the metaphorical children, the voters, will know that they embraced something, which will stand up better in primaries and elections. So, closing with Aesop’s eternal words, please all, and you will please none.