Feature Articles

The Chinese Farmer

The Chinese farmer

There is a Chinese story of an old farmer who had an old horse for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and, when all the farmer’s neighbours sympathised 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 wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, ‘Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?’

Then, when the farmer’s son was attempted 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? Bad luck? Who knows?

The Moral:
As human beings, we have a tendency to interpret any and all events as either good luck or bad luck. Often we do it unconsciously. When we interpret events as good luck, we are usually happy and vice versa.

However, most events, like in the story, that are beyond our control are just events! There is nothing we can do about these events are beyond our control, except accepting them and moving on..

 

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