I originally posted this message on my lifestyle and weight management facebook page about looking to others for validation, but it bears repeating because the lesson rings true in the writing realm too. You can’t please everyone, so it's best to be true to yourself and to God.
The Miller, his Son, and their Donkey by Aesop
A miller and his son were walking their donkey to a fair to sell him. They had not gone far when a group of women said, “Did you ever see such fellows trudging along on foot when they might ride?” The old man hearing this, made his son mount the donkey, and continued to walk along merrily by his side.
Presently they came to a group of old men who said, “What respect is shown to old age these days? Do you see that lad riding while his old father walks?” Upon this the old man made his son dismount, and got upon himself.
They had not proceeded far when they met a woman who said, “You lazy old fellow. How can you ride upon the beast, while that poor little lad there can hardly keep pace with you?” The good-natured miller immediately took up his son to ride behind him.
They had almost reached the town when a citizen said, “One would not have thought this was your donkey by the way you load him down. You two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast than he you.” So the old man and his son alighted, and they tied the legs of the donkey together and carried him on a pole on their shoulders over a bridge near the entrance to the town.
This sight brought the people in crowds to laugh, and the donkey not liking the noise, nor the strange handling, broke the cords and tumbled off the pole into the river. Upon this, the old man made his way home again, convinced that by trying to please everybody he had pleased nobody, and lost his donkey in the process.
Jesus did not “please” the Scribes, Pharisees or politicians. He stayed true to his Father’s will throughout his entire life on earth. Since we cannot please everyone, we should seek to please God, since His opinion is the only one that will matter in the end. Ask for wisdom and then listen to the still small voice within for guidance.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ ~ Galatians 1:10