Perhaps our lives are like that of the wise Chinese farmer whose horse ran off.

When his neighbor came to console him the farmer said, “Who knows what’s good or bad?”

When his horse returned the next day with a herd of horses following her, the neighbor came to congratulate him on his good fortune.

“Who knows what’s good or bad?” said the farmer.

Then, when the farmer’s son broke his leg trying to ride one of the new horses, the neighbor came to console him again.

“Who knows what’s good or bad?” said the farmer.

When the army passed through, conscripting men for war, they passed over the farmer’s son because of his broken leg.

When the foolish neighbor came to congratulate the farmer that his son would be spared, again the farmer said, “Who knows what’s good or bad?”

When do we expect the story to end?

adapted from Steve Hagen’s Buddhism Plain and Simple

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