There is always an opportunity to lessen the load.
We have the choice about our thoughts and our actions. Sometimes our actions can be coerced because they are detectable, but our thoughts are our own.
Choices can hem in our thoughts and keep us from being in control in the moment based on choice beforehand. If we were to choose a stimulant, our synapses can fire quicker and our reactions can be swifter or we can choose a suppressant and our responses can be slower. The choice is ours, the actions are a result of our choices. Even our thoughts are under our control.
The choice of traveling light with a heavy load is always ours to make. The ancient Greeks called it hupomoneo. In English it’s translated to hupo= under; moneo= remain; or specifically endure. By remaining under the heavy load rather than casting it off, you develop endurance. Endurance comes not from casting off the load, but learning to travel light with the heavy load.
One primary way to travel light despite the load is not to carry an unresolved attitude regarding the load. If you are constantly asking, “Should I be carrying this burden?” or “This isn’t my fault, somebody else has done this.” then you become weary psychologically as well as psychosomatically.
Aesop, an ancient Greek fable teller (fabulist) living in late 500 BC, told the tale of a man and his son journeying to market with their donkey. A traveler bound in the opposite direction said something deriding like, “you idiots, why isn’t someone at least riding the donkey?”
The man then sat his son on the donkey and they continued to the market.
Along the way a group of travelers approach and one of them spoke insultingly, “What an ill-instructed son, he rides and makes his father walk!”
So, the father commands the boy to walk, while he rode on the donkey.
Then, no sooner had the group passed and two women passed the son, father, and donkey. One woman turned to the other and said, “What a poor excuse for a father, riding and making his poor son trudge along side.”
Not sure what to do, the man placed his son in front of him as the two of them rode the donkey on into town.
As they entered town the jeers continued. “Why would you burden that poor donkey with the weight of you and your son?”
Having tried everything else, they decided to cut a sturdy pole, tied the donkey’s hooves together, and shoulder the pole. They carried the donkey into the town.
As they came to a small bridge the donkey freed one hoof, got caught in the slats of the bridge, and the boy dropped his end of the pole. The donkey feel over the railing and into the water only to finally drown, having his other hooves tied to the pole.
The response to the fable through the years has been as varied as the audience.
“Get off your a$$ and walk”
“You always end up looking like an a$$ when you try to please everybody.”
“No matter what you do, if you follow the advice of those around you, you’ll lose your a$$ in the end.”
My take is, travel light with a heavy load by deciding for yourself what the load is actually going to be. Then, set your plans to endure for the sake of endurance and the prize that always comes in the end.