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Is it a good thing, or is it a bad thing?

Posted: January 14th, 2010, 6:18 pm
by RachelBateman
Or, The Parable of the Wise Chinese Man


Long, long ago, there lived an old Chinese man. He owned one horse and one acre of land. He had one son. One night, the gate to his corral was left open. He left the house the next morning to find his only horse missing.

As the man looked for his horse, his neighbors began to gather around. “That was your only horse,” they said, “what will you do now?”

“Well,” the old man said, “I haven’t decided if it is a good thing or a bad thing.”

They assured him it was a bad thing.

When the horse left the old man’s property, it ran off into the desert. After many days of searching for water, it returned home. It brought nine other horses with it. Seeing all the commotion at the old man’s place, all his neighbors ran over to congratulate him.

“You know,” he told them, “I haven’t decided yet if this is a good thing or a bad thing.”

They assured him it was a good thing.

Two days later, the old man’s only son went to break one of the horses. He climbed onto its back and began the process. A few minutes later, the son fell and broke his leg. The doctor came, followed by the man’s neighbors.

“Oh no!” they cried, “he’s your only son. Who will help you run your farm now?”

“I don’t know,” he replied, “but I haven’t decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing.”

They assured him it was a bad thing.

Three weeks later, China went to war. Officials came to the old man’s town and gathered up all the able-bodied men to fight. With his broken leg, the man’s son was left behind. Later that month, the troops were led into a terrible battle and all the townsmen were killed.

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The story could continue on forever, but the point was made. Sometimes things happen that we cannot control. In the moment, we can't see the big picture; we are unable to know if it is a good thing or a bad thing.

Live your life the best you know how. Work every day to reach your goals and achieve you dreams. Take charge of the things you can control. The things you can't control? Hope for the best, take what you get, and don't decide in the heat of the moment that it is a bad thing.

Sometimes the "bad thing" is what is best for us.

* *Rachel Bateman* *

Re: Is it a good thing, or is it a bad thing?

Posted: January 14th, 2010, 6:26 pm
by kaykaybe
Love this! I'd vote for you if it were that kind of contest!

Re: Is it a good thing, or is it a bad thing?

Posted: January 14th, 2010, 7:05 pm
by Ryan
Any reason why you picked a Chinese man? I love it as I am Chinese and live by this motto everyday. Everything happens for a reason. I think crazy adventure style traveling can foster this attitude. If you win: Is it a good thing, or is it a bad thing?

Ryan

Re: Is it a good thing, or is it a bad thing?

Posted: January 14th, 2010, 7:17 pm
by emilycross
Definitely something to keep in mind. Really excellent post!

Best of luck in the contest!

Re: Is it a good thing, or is it a bad thing?

Posted: January 14th, 2010, 8:10 pm
by marilyn peake
I love this! I'm sure I'll think of this often. Very meaningful. Good luck in the contest!

Re: Is it a good thing, or is it a bad thing?

Posted: January 15th, 2010, 6:02 pm
by RachelBateman
Hey thanks, guys!

Ryan–there really is no specific reason why I picked a Chinese man. It just seemed right, so that is what I went with. I think it is great that you live by this!

And if I win? Well, I hope that would be a good thing, but I guess I would have to wait it out and see. :)