One day in a field a Donkey said to a Horse:
"I believe the grass here is bad, we are going to get sick if we eat it!"
The horse tasted a little of the grass and replied:
"Mr Donkey, maybe try it again because it seems fine to me."
"No, No, No", said the Donkey - "I know the grass is bad!"
The discussion heated up, and the Donkey insisted they go to see Wise Owl to settle the dispute.
Already, before reaching the edge of the woods where Wise Owl lived, the Donkey began to shout:
"Wise Owl, Wise Owl, wake up, wake up! - the grass is poisoned, the grass is poisoned - please tell Mr Horse I am right!"
Wise Owl flew down from her tree, sat on a fence post and, after looking intently at the Donkey for a moment, she said:
"You are right Mr Donkey, because you believe the grass where you were eating is bad, it must be bad, so you should go to the other side of the field to eat."
The Donkey then turned to the Horse and said - "I told you, I told you Mr Horse! - I was right! - now Wise Owl will punish you for disagreeing with me!"
Wise Owl turned to the Horse and said:
"Yes Mr Horse, Donkey is right a second time, you will be punished by going back to your corner of the field to eat some of that same grass so you too experience the same sickness that Donkey believes he is going to suffer."
The Donkey jumped up cheerfully, kicked his feet in the air and went off to the other side of the field, happy that his beliefs had been confirmed by Wise Owl - telling all the animals he came across:
"The Grass Over There Is Bad! The Grass Over There Is Bad! - I Am Right! I Am Right - Wise Owl agrees with me - I Am Clever - I know better than stupid Mr Horse!"
After the Donkey had left, the Horse asked Wise Owl:
"Wise Owl, why did you agree with Mr Donkey? - after all, you don't even eat grass, and I have tasted it, I know there is nothing bad about it?"
Wise Owl replied:
"Agreeing with Mr Donkey has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is good or bad. Let me ask you Mr Horse, would Mr Donkey have believed me if I had not agreed with him? Mr Horse, you need to learn this lesson - one should never waste time arguing with that Donkey, or others like him - and on top of that - you should never again come over to wake me up and bother me with such silly nonsense! The worst waste of time is arguing with a fool or fanatic who does not care about truth or reality, only the victory of their beliefs and illusions. Never waste energy on arguments that don't make sense... You must learn that there are many in this life who, no matter how much evidence is presented to them, are not interested in trying to learn the truth or understand anything - and there are many others who are so lost in their ego, jealousy, and even hatred, and so desperate to be right, they are impossible to reason with - they believe they know they are right - and so to them anyone who questions their beliefs must be in the wrong. Their reality is real to them, therefore even when it is obvious to others that they are living in a state of self-delusion it is wise to just let them be. In time - eventually - they will discover for themselves how foolish they have been.
Now go in peace and eat some grass..."