Everything in life holds both a blessing and a curse. We deny this when we label the events of our lives as either good or bad. The following old Zen story illustrates this lesson most effectively.
A farmer had a horse but one day, the horse ran away and so the farmer and his son had to plow their fields themselves. Their neighbors said, “Oh, what bad luck that your horse ran away!” But the farmer replied, “Bad luck, good luck, who knows?”
The next week, the horse returned to the farm, bringing a herd of wild horses with him. “What wonderful luck!” cried the neighbors, but the farmer responded, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
Then, the farmer’s son was thrown as he tried to ride one of the wild horses, and he broke his leg. “Ah, such bad luck,” sympathized the neighbors. Once again, the farmer responded, “Bad luck, good luck, who knows?”
A short time later, the ruler of the country recruited all young men to join his army for battle. The son, with his broken leg, was left at home. “What good luck that your son was not forced into battle!” celebrated the neighbors. And the farmer remarked, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
“Do not judge, and you will never be mistaken.”
— Jean Jacques Rousseau