This is a traditional (short) Chinese story about good or bad luck. The insight of this story can be applied to our own lives and all of the situations we constantly find ourselves in. I hope this narrative will help you be more at ease with the challenges you face and the choices you have to make. Understand that there’s no point in thinking ahead.
Enter Chinese wisdom….
In a village in the Chinese countryside, a farmer lived with his son. Besides their hut and the land, their only possession of any value was the horse. In this way they could work the land and make ends meet in all modesty. One day the horse broke through the fence and ran away.
That evening the villagers came to visit the Chinese farmer to express their pity. “How terrible!” they said, “What about the land? Lost your horse, what an accident!”
But the farmer smiled quietly and said, “Luck or bad? Who’s to say? All I know is that the horse ran away.”
The next day the farmer and his son went back to work on the land and for some time they made the best of it. Until one day the horse came running up again. And in his wake he took a herd of ten wild horses!
That evening the villagers gathered again to offer their congratulations: “What luck! What amazing! You just own tenfold!” But the farmer smiled quietly and said, “Luck or bad? Who’s to say? All I know is that my horse is back and there are ten other horses with them.”
The next day the son wanted to try to tame the horses and climbed on the back of a wild horse. However, the latter was not pleased and bucked until the son landed on the ground with a big thud and broke both legs.
That evening the villagers were on their doorstep again: “How awful! Your son! Both legs broken! Now he can’t help on the land! What an accident! How should that be?”
But the farmer smiled quietly and said, “Luck or bad? Who’s to say? All I know is my son broke both his legs.”
The next day, word came that war had broken out and that all young men capable of doing so were to report immediately to form an army.
And the farmer smiled quietly and thought….
Feel free to leave a comment. I read and reply to all of them. I’d love to hear from you. 💚🌿
scott bovard says
I have told this story many times over the last 3 decades….. mostly to my children. I think it had a positive effect or at least fit with the world view I offered them! My son graduated from West Point with a degree in engineering and said the most important lesson he learned at the academy was how to fail…. And still get up! My daughter the same stuff! Great parable!!
Klaus Crow says
Funny you say that. I just showed this article to my 13 year old daughter yesterday and explained her how it applies to the things she’s now experiencing in her life as she’s growing up to become a teenager.
It’s an incredible valuable story that’s so true. The older yet get, the more you realize this again and again. Great that you pass this on to your children.
Thanks for sharing Scott. I appreciate it.