#375 You, a Farmer and His Horse

A Zen Fable on Good and Bad Luck

Once upon a time in a land far away, there was an old farmer.

This man had a horse.

Then, one day, his horse ran away.

All the neighbors said, “Gah!! That’s such a bummer. What bad luck.”

The man said, “Maybe. It is what is.”

Then, one day, the horse returned!! And, lo and behold, the horse brought along a bunch of wild stallions with him!

All the neighbors said, “Wow!! That’s incredible. What good luck!”

The man said, “Maybe. It is what it is.”

At this point in the story, I should mention that the man also had a son. This son was pretty excited about the new horses. Especially one particularly wild stallion he wanted to ride.

So, he hops up on the horse and, WHAM! He gets slammed to the ground and breaks his leg.

All the neighbors said, “Ohhhhhhhhh, man! What bad luck. I can’t believe that happened. Now your son can’t work the fields. That’s really bad.”

The man said, “Maybe. It is what it is.”

Then one day, the army came marching into the small village. There was a war and the king demanded that all able-bodied young men join them in their battle. Our man’s son with the broken leg was spared.

All the neighbors said, “Wow. Your son has been saved! What good luck.”

The man said…

Well, at this stage you know what the man said.

Today’s +1. How do YOU respond to life’s events?

Is it all either “good” or “bad”?

Or, perhaps, is it just what it is? 🙂

P.S. Shakespeare must have had this Zen story in mind when he had Hamlet say that “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

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