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Public opinion is wrong as often as it’s right

One of my favorite magazines recently carried a fable about a man and his son who traveled to the marketplace with a donkey.Dr. Kurt Borows
As they started out, the boy rode the donkey and the man walked alongside. Some passersby shook their heads in dismay.
“The children of today have no respect for their elders,” they said. “Look at that poor man walking while his spoiled son rides.”
The man and his son shifted places. Soon other people passed by and shook their heads in dismay. “Look at that big strong man riding on the donkey while his little boy has to hurry alongside,” they said. “Some parents just don’t care about their children at all. Why do they have them?”
Soon both the father and his son were riding together. Along came another group of people who protested, “How can people mistreat their animals so badly. Imagine, two of them riding the poor donkey.”

As the father and son both walked to the marketplace alongside their donkey, some people laughed. “Look at the stupid people. They are both walking when they have a donkey fully capable of carrying one —perhaps even both — of them.”
According to the fable, both father and son arrived at the marketplace — both carrying the donkey.
We live in a world where people have deep interest in public opinion polls — in knowing the “in things to think and to do” and the “out things which no ‘in the know person’ would think of doing” to gain acceptance by following the crowd.
The problem is public opinion is usually wrong about as often as it is right. The most consistent thing about public opinion is how frequently it changes. Public opinion is usually diverse enough that nearly half the people will think we are wrong even when we always go with what the majority thinks.
The problem with basing our beliefs and actions on gaining something called public acceptance is that it is often a fear similar to carrying a donkey to the marketplace. Carried to its extremes, this practice is epitomized by a new movement in the United States which has labeled its adherents as Heterodoxuals and which views all doctrines as of equal value and all beliefs or even atheism as equally valid. Their creed states “Reality is my god and integrity is my religion.” By believing in everything, they end up believing in nothing.
Find that which is of ultimate truth and rooted in the Creator. Build your life on that truth and the world will have great difficulty placing unnecessary burdens on your back.

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