“Who Knows What Is Good and What Is Bad?”
Today we are in Tallinn, Estonia unable to return home due to the volcanic ash from Iceland that has throttled European air traffic causing loss and hardship to many. Our losses are minimal but we experience them nonetheless.
In response to our circumstance, Laura North a friend and well-known Vancouver life coach sent me the following story.
Laura says, “Most of us divide our life experiences into those we like and those we don’t. But good things come from bad experiences and bad things follow from good experiences. It is better to accept the wholeness of life.”
Here is the story.
When a farmer’s stallion wins a prize at a county show, his neighbour calls round to congratulate him, but the old farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” The next day some thieves come and steal his valuable animal. His neighbour comes to commiserate with him, but the old man replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” A few days later the spirited stallion escapes from the thieves and joins a herd of wild mares, leading them back to the farm. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s joy, but the farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” The following day while trying to break in one of the wild mares, the farmer’s son is thrown and fractures his leg. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s sorrow, but the old man’s attitude remains the same as before. The following week the army passes by, forcibly conscripting soldiers for war, but they do not take the farmer’s son because he cannot walk. The neighbour thinks to himself, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” and realizes that the old farmer must be a Taoist sage.