by Robert Wilkinson
Recently a fan of the site quoted from of one of my favorite Chinese wisdom stories. After some research, I found what is probably the "truest" version. For your consideration, "Maybe It's Bad, Maybe It's Good."
Maybe It's Bad, Maybe It's Good - author unknown
Many years ago a wise peasant lived in China. He had a son who was the gleam in his eyes and a white stallion which was his favourite belonging. One day his horse escaped from his grounds and disappeared. The villagers came to him one by one and said: “You are such an unlucky man. It is so bad about the horse.” The peasant responded: “Who knows. Maybe it’s bad, maybe it’s good.”
The next day the stallion returned followed by 12 wild horses. The neighbours visited him again and congratulated him for his luck. He just said: “Who knows. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.” As it happens, the next day his son was attempting to break in one of the wild horses when he fell down and broke his leg. Once more everyone came with their condolences: “It’s terrible.” Again he replied: “Who knows. Maybe it’s bad, maybe it’s good.”
A few days passed and his poor son was limping around the village with his broken leg, when the emperor’s army entered the village announcing that a war was starting and they conscripted all the young men of the village. However, they left the peasant’s son since he had a broken leg. Once more, everyone was so jealous of the peasant. They talked about his sheer luck. He just muttered: “Who knows. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.”
Which just goes to show that sometimes, perhaps it's best to suspend judgment until we have a little time to reflect on how things have REALLY turned out over time. That way we can take events into consideration we may not know will happen until they have transpired.
© Copyright 2009 Robert Wilkinson