[I try to always share new things on this blog, but occasionally I like to re-post some of my favorite stories, videos, etc. Plus, new people are following my blog (thank you!) since I last posted this story about 7 months ago. Enjoy!]
A poor farmer’s horse ran off into the country of the barbarians. All his neighbors offered their condolences, but his father said, “How do you know that this isn’t good fortune?” After a few months the horse returned with a barbarian horse of excellent stock. All his neighbors offered their congratulations, but his father said, “How do you know that this isn’t a disaster?” The two horses bred, and the family became rich in fine horses. The farmer’s son spent much of his time riding them; one day he fell off and broke his hipbone. All his neighbors offered the farmer their condolences, but his father said, “How do you know that this isn’t good fortune?” Another year passed, and the barbarians invaded the frontier. All the able-bodied young men were conscripted, and nine-tenths of them died in the war. Thus good fortune can be disaster and vice versa. Who can tell how events will be transformed?
–Story from the Huai Nan Tzu
(quoted in Stephen Mitchell’s Tao Te Ching)
This is a lovely version, it’s also one of my favourites – many times over the years since first reading it, I’ve considered the message.
Thank you for the comment, Nicola. I’m glad you liked my post!