I watched a talk by Dr Srikumar Rao whereby he recited this story. The message was too important not to share….
A long time ago, there was a poor farmer. His one ambition in life was to become rich, and so he implored his neighbours and fellow villagers for money to purchase a stallion.
His neighbours obliged provided he pay them back and so he chose a wonderful horse with the help of his son.
A few days later, the stallion broke free from the paddock, and galloped into the distance. The neighbours exclaimed “This is terrible fortune! How will you pay us back and deal with such an awful event?”
The farmer replied, “Good, bad, who knows.” He and his son repaired the damaged paddock.
A few days later the stallion returned, surrounded by 12 mares. All 13 horses were rounded up by his athletic son in the newly repaired paddock. The neighbours were astounded, “What incredible luck you have! You are the richest man in the village!”
The farmer replied simply, “Good, bad, who knows.”
Sometime later, his son was tending to the horses and was involved in an accident. The accident left him permanently disabled in one leg. The neighbours could not hide their disbelief, “How awful, your son will be disfigured for the rest of his life.”
Once again, the farmer replied, “Good, bad, who knows.”
Around a year later, war was announced. All young, fit men were ordered to serve their country in the army. The farmer’s son was exempt due to his disability.
“You are so fortunate!” cried the neighbours, “We may never see our sons alive again!”
“Good, bad, who knows,” he said.
Do you see the pattern here? Have you ever been in a situation which seemed terrible at the time, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise? The lesson here is to not label the events in our lives. Ignore the mental models that you have learned and take each event in your stride; take it as the blessing of which it was intended.