Once upon a time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Perhaps,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “What great luck!” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Perhaps,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Perhaps,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Perhaps,” said the farmer.
This parable is a lesson in taking things with a grain of salt. What the farmer understood, and what his neighbours did not understand was that nothing is exactly as it seems. What appears to be a misfortune can easily turn out to be a blessing in disguise. In life, there are ups and downs, just like those in the farmer’s life. Things we thought to be good things can sometimes turn sour, but the important thing is not to dwell on them or wallow. Every situation, good or bad, has it’s end, just like the four seasons. With this in mind we are able to take things in stride and go with life’s flow.
Happiness is allowing yourself to be okay with what is, rather than wishing for, and bemoaning, what is not. Obviously, what is is what is supposed to be, or it would not be. The rest is just you, arguing with life.
Neale Donald Walsch