There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years.
One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.
This topic for the weekly Friday LBC blog posts, where a few of us write on the same topic, was suggested by me. Two others, Lin and Shackman very likely and some others may be writing too.
22 thoughts on “Peace Of Mind.”
Know the story well, and like it. Not least because it underlines my fundamental belief that (sometimes) good can come out of bad. If only we recognize it.
Ursula recently posted..Limitations
I am glad that it resonated with you.
que sera sera
shackman recently posted..Peace of Mind LBC 06/10/16
Yes, and thank you.
Yes, there are never any guarantees. Curiosity often works better than expectations.
Cheerful Monk recently posted..Retail Therapy
You can say that again and even change curiosity to equanimity.
Curiosity works better for me. It’s more fun and playful.
Cheerful Monk recently posted..Bright Ideas
Wondering where the farmer learned these attitudes.
Looney recently posted..Inspecting the Voting ballot for Tuesday’s California primary
I love this Taoist tale! I’ve always taken it to mean that if we leave things alone, and not try to control everything, life usually works for the best. Something (or Someone) bigger than us is overseeing our fate, usually with better results than we could have managed.
Still the Lucky Few recently posted..Retirement – The Best Is Yet To Come!
I too am very fond of this story. I however think of it as a pointer to how to react to developments out of our control.
No judgement its all about perceptions… http://business2buddha.com/2011/02/15/no-judgement-its-all-about-perception/
A very good story – how often we follow it?
It is extremely difficult to follow the principle. One needs to be very mature. Thank you for the link to your own post on the same story. It was before we got to know each other I think as I have not commented on it!
Yes we had not met at that time, I was in Dubai completing my MBA when I posted that blog Feb 2011. I think we met in Jun 2011.
I know this story and admire the farmer for his acceptance. I, too, have a strong belief in ultimate good. But I do think it is more about acceptance that what we see as bad things do happen, period – and still we have lessons to learn from them. I can come to acceptance but often flop about a bit on the way there.
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Apart from acceptance, there is also an element of detachment that I perceive in the story.
it’s like – never have an end in mind, just flow along the path…and it will lead you somewhere, unexpected but never a really bad end, just different…
“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.” ~ Zen.
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