The Year of the horse. The decade of the donkey.


The other day, as I was searching the internet, a thought lead me to search for donkeys. Yes! And, while one half of me kept searching, the other half drifted into a silent laughter. The laughter that surrounded the facts that were, although funny, but FACTS. And, as usual, I could not stop myself from weaving my words around what I found.

We think of the future. And, seldom have we evaluated life based on what happens to us. We may think that the year ahead is full of energy, joy, work, respect, and other attributes, but we’ve forgotten to consider the time we’ve sacrificed as a slogger in the last decade (or two). This article is about all of us!

Note: No animals have been emotionally harmed while writing this post. Although some animal-like other selves were tested thoroughly before they were documented.


The year, 2014, is the Chinese year of the horse. And, quite obviously, all of us can expect our lives to be going “horsey” this year. But, some of us will still follow their other self, the Donkey.

The muse is about the horse, who we see as a – tall, preferably dark, athletic, and agile body, stuffed with vigor, and for whom, courage flows like the blood – figure, which is enviable yet approachable, strong yet kind, and powerful yet noble. Interestingly, this muse has some loose ends that let the air (of authenticity) pass through, and what we’re left with an absolute nonsensical reciprocal, the other self of us (Which, as I’ve termed, is the donkey in all of us)!

So, as I was saying, the Donkey is a useful animal. And, when I compared the donkey in us, with the animal, this is what I found was common:

  • It can bring a lot of hard work to the table (Sorry, the ground).
  • It can lend additional hours from its daily life, just to slog-off a few extra miles for no reason.
  • It can slog; often without complaining.
  • It does what it is told to do. (Without questioning back! Presumably, because it can’t talk.)
  • It is moody, but hardly gets any time to showcase the talent.

Considering what we see in our typical lives in “the corporate”, this muse shares other similarities with us. The donkey, as I was saying, has been used as a working animal for about 5000 years. Jokingly, the boredom pouring down from the faces of some of my colleagues makes me wonder for how long they’ve been working in the same job, company, or profile. I continue to read that most of the donkeys (about 96%), world over, belong to the underdeveloped (developing?) countries. Now, I don’t know if this is a coincidence, but the service sector has begun flourishing in roughly the same geography.

Also, in those countries, donkeys are “used principally as pack animals.” Some of my friends too are quite literally the “principal resources” in their respective companies. I have suddenly begun to feel proud about my “just another employee” status.

Also, the donkey is one of the cheapest form of labor (That makes us the second cheapest, doesn’t it?) “They may also be used for several other works.” – Some sites are found quoting. This is where the story gets even funnier, because I am not the only one who has felt pressure of workload in the last decade.

Working donkeys (humans?) often live at/below their subsistence levels. Now, how many of us have envied ourselves for what we have? Perhaps none.

As a matter of word-play, I strongly believe that the term donkey is an understatement for the Donkey. And, that the animal truly deserves a better, respectable term. And, after reading about the higher quotient of its utility (caliber?), my respect for the animal has suddenly multiplied!

The Flip Side

The funny story, albeit, has a flip-side, which is quite in line with the muse. The following points are noteworthy:

  • We have worked our hearts out, and have been rewarded (both, financially and otherwise) based on how well we managed.
  • We have been through the tides of time; have gone through the rough patches of the mismatched expenses and incomes.
  • All of us, I repeat, all of us, have felt at least once that we are capable of earning better lives for ourselves.
  • None of us have ever had a sleepless night because we worked too much.
  • All of us have kept believing in beliefs.

What’s in it for me?

Despite the self-contradicting portrayal, the donkey appears to positively affect almost every aspect of life: persistence, self-motivation, passion, and even spirituality.

Therefore, we should remember to:

  • Take some time out from toiling our days and nights, to enjoy what we are set out to.
  • Remember that living the journey is always more satisfying than experiencing the destination.


Keep eyes and ears open. Inspiration often comes from the people least expected. Have a lively new year!

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