There’s a story that I’ve heard a few times via different mediums over the years and I’d love to share it with you. It’s an ancient parable that goes like this:
There was once a farmer in a village. One day, his horse ran away. So, the neighbors came up to him and said, “That’s bad.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good or bad, hard to say.”
The next day, the horse came back with seven wild horses. So, the neighbors came up to him and said, “More horses, that’s good.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good or bad, hard to say.”
A few days later, the farmer’s son while riding one of the wild horses, got thrown off it and as a result broke his leg. So, the neighbors came up to him and said, “Oh, that’s bad.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good or bad, hard to say.”
The next week, officers came knocking on people’s doors, looking for men to draft for an army for the upcoming war against another kingdom. They saw the farmer’s son and his broken leg and they passed him by. Now, the neighbors came up to him and said, “Ooh, that’s good.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, ““Good or bad, hard to say.”
We’ve all had experiences where a bane turns into a boon, a rejection turns into a redirection, and an obstacle turns into an opportunity.
Our unanswered wishes and prayers end up as the best things happening to us.
Whether you believe that there’ a good reason why things happen to us and trust in the divine order of the Universe or you think that everything is random, the truth is that we never know how things are going to shape up to be. This is actually good, it empowers us to cultivate acceptance for the things that happen to us.
There are many uber successful superachievers in the world who have faced some heinous and soul-crunching events and have had awful, tragic and difficult things happen to them — circumstances that can’t even equate with the misfortune that we would have faced or are currently facing.
But when asked if they wished these things would never have happened to them, 100% of them say they wouldn’t change the way things happened. These events are what propelled their personal revolution and evolution, and these are what shaped them to become the person they are today. Their tragedy in the past became the greatest gift in their life.
It’s best not to label something as good or bad, and just take it as it comes without judging it or getting attached to it. Cultivating detachment and taking the middle ground is what helps us move forward in this journey of life.
As we let go of our innate urge to put circumstances, events and people in either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ box, we enhance our ability to truly see them for what they are. We become more open-minded and bring curiosity, wonder and humanness in our interactions with the world around us.