I remember a time long ago when I was a child, I would sit in front of the glass cabinet where some of our children's books were kept, without any back rest, reading intently some of those books.

The illustration in those childhood books are forever etched in my memory, not only because they were so colourful and because of my young, visual memory, but because the stories that accompanied them made some lasting impressions with their morals.

There is one story that I remember clearly, and that is of the father, son and the donkey. There are several version of the story, and I can't remember which one I read as child, but all have the same bottom line, which I'll come to at the end of the story.

Here is the story (taken from http://www.bartleby.com/17/1/62.html)

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?” 1
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.” 2
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.” 3
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 of yours—you and your hulking son?” 4
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. 5
“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them.


I hate to say it, but I tend to seek validation in the form of pleasing people. Listening to their criticism, it can't not be good, right? But then, you can't ever please everyone.
So, what can one do?

Just do your damn best, decide on your own, what is best. Hopefully, no donkeys drown in the process.