the philosophy of the kicking donkey
By way of introduction, here is a small story.
There is a man lost in a desert. He has been walking for three days without food. He is almost dying because his hunger is so terrible; and he is running out of water. All around, all he can see is sand; and no sign of any town or village. It seems as though all hope is lost.
Then, he sees something moving in the distance. He moves towards it, and it moves closer to him. As it moves closer, he begins to see what it is: a donkey, wandering alone with one halter and a rope dangling from its neck.
If you are this man, it is obvious what you have to do: you should catch the donkey, climb on its back, and beat the donkey until it brings you to the nearest town.
But if you are the donkey, why should you let yourself be driven in any direction that the man decides? He could bring you anywhere, and once he gets to his destination, he can decide to do whatever he wants with you – he can sell you, he can kill you, he can make you his slave or the slave of someone else, he can abuse you, torture you, you have no idea what he will do. If you are a docile donkey with no will and no wisdom, you will let the man climb on your back and go wherever he wants you to go.
If you are a Kicking Donkey, you know that your job is to look for a way of escape – or if there is no way to escape, you wait for just the right moment to kick as hard as you can, to break away from the person who is trying to control you and be free.
In the story, the man who is lost in the desert could be anything or anyone coming into your life, whose aim is to use you for his own purposes. It could be an individual, it could be an organisation, or it could be a system – capitalism, socialism, a religion, a government, a tradition, a culture. We do not blame these systems – as the story shows, for the man lost in the desert, it is perfectly right and proper to climb on the back of the donkey; for him, the donkey is simply a perfect means of transport and he would be very stupid not to use it.
Most of us are like docile donkeys: we tend to believe what we hear and what we are told, without checking whether it is really true, and we are the herd animals of society, and all the systems regulating our lives.
More importantly, the man could also be any destructive emotions that come from inside yourself – moments of fear, anger, jealousy, anxiety, desire, etc, which drive your actions while you are under their hold but will often cause you regret later on. Most of the time, we are all blindly following our emotions, reacting automatically to what happens to us without checking whether it is the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do, we are like donkeys that just follow anyone who decides to climb on our back.
Welcome to the school of kicking donkeys! We are a group of people aiming to be free – to kick away from all the things that control us, whether they come from the outside or from the inside. We want to be in charge of our own actions.
This does not mean that we kick automatically out of fury or hatred of society. The ability to kick when necessary does not mean that we are always kicking everything and everyone that comes in our way; but we aim to decide what we do for ourselves, and make choices based on our own wisdom; not based on what somebody else has told us or based on any emotion that takes over our mind: it is in this sense that we are “kicking donkeys.”
We are fed up of the suffering in the world and the suffering in ourselves caused by anger, jealousy, fear, anxiety, and all such destructive emotions. So, we are here working on ourselves, working to remove our faults, and add to our qualities.
We have seen that when we want to change the world for the better, we have to start with inside ourselves, to improve ourselves, and make the world better by being in it.
Here you will find some stories about our experiences, and some teachings about our practice. If you are interested, you are invited to come and see.