To some people this may be just a funny picture: a recalcitrant donkey steadfastly refusing to enter the church on Palm Sunday. No matter how the altar boys pushed, pulled, tempted and teased, the animal refused to budge. In fact the more they tried, the harder he resisted. They never got him in.
To me, however, this image is more than humorous. I see myself in that donkey. I can be very stubborn and the more someone pushes or pressures me, the harder I dig in. I can, however, be talked into something with kindness, respect and reason.
Another thing I see in this is the embodiment of one of my biggest pet peeves: the idea some people have that everyone must think and believe as they do. I consider myself a spiritual person. I have attended and belonged to churches. As a former anthropology student, I am convinced that religion plays an important role in all societies and serves to fill voids and/or needs in a person’s life. But I see no value in a one-size-fits-all religion that is sometimes forced upon others.
Other people, looking at this photo, may see something totally different and that’s great. I remember a writing class I attended, where the teacher passed around a book with nothing but photos—no text or caption information at all. We were supposed to close our eyes, pick a page, and write a story about what was going on in the photo. It became very clear to me how diverse our interpretations are about many things in our lives and I think that makes our world a lot more interesting.
What do you see?