Apr 2, 2008

Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Knows?

While in a staff meeting today, I heard a story that I have heard many times over the last few months. It was a little surprising to hear my boss retelling it, but it came at a very appropriate time for me. Here is the story:

Good Luck Bad Luck!

There is a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer's neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?"

Then, when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?Who knows?

Things that seem on the surface to be an evil may be a good in disguise, and things that seem good on the surface may really be an evil. The good and the bad in life have a way of leveling out, and we never know how a situation will impact us until it all plays out. Good and bad are as inevitable as waves rolling into the beach, so I am trying to develop the calm, even outlook of the farmer. It's not always easy, but I think it will be worth it.

No comments: