I first heard about this story from a guided meditation/talk by Tara Brach.
It’s a Chinese fable that helps reframe any situation we face in life. It reminds me of the quote, “sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” We simply have no idea where our so-called ‘bad luck’ may lead. Everything reveals itself in time…
Many years ago, there lived a wise peasant.
He had a son who he adored and was the proud owner of a white stallion which everyone in the village admired. One day his stallion escaped from his stable and disappeared.
The villagers came to him and said, “what bad luck that your horse escaped!” The peasant shrugged and responded, “good luck, bad luck, who knows.”
The next day the stallion returned with a herd of 12 wild horses. The villagers visited him again and congratulated him, “you are a lucky man!” The peasant simply responded, “good luck, bad luck, who knows.”
One day his son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses and fell down, breaking his leg. The villagers came to his house with their condolences, “this is terrible… what bad luck.” Again, the peasant responded, “good luck, bad luck, who knows.”
A few weeks later, the army marched into the village announcing that a war was starting and enlisted every able-bodied man. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off.
Good luck, bad luck, who knows?