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Good News, Bad News?

The scene is set in China thousands of years ago. A farmer toiled away for years to save sufficient money to buy a horse. Finally he purchased a beautiful stallion, and on the day of its arrival his neighbor came over and said, “Good news about finally getting the horse.”

The farmer said, “Good news, bad news, who knows?”

After about a week the horse bolted and it couldn’t be found. The neighbor came over and said, “Bad news about the horse.”

And the farmer said, “Good news, bad news, who knows?”

About three days later the horse returned, with a companion – another beautiful horse. Predictably the farmer’s neighbor came over and said, “Good news getting your horse back, and getting another one as well.”

“Good news, bad news, who knows?” said the farmer.

The farmer generously gave the second horse to his son, a young teenager, who went about learning to ride it. After three hours of struggling to control the new horse, he was thrown from it and badly broke his arm. The neighbor came over and said “Bad news about your son.”

“Good news, bad news, who knows?”

A week later, a press gang sent by the Emperor to conscript all the teenagers and able-bodied men to go to war came in to town. The farmer’s son couldn’t go; his arm was broken. “Good news, bad news, who knows?”

There are so many things that come along in our life that surprise us; that come from left field. When we resist, and reject, we experience discomfort and stress. The reality is the flow of life is infinite compared to our ability to resist it. In the end we have very little ability to control anything.

This analogy is such a wonderful approach to life. Having the approach, “Good news, bad news, who knows?” means we don’t get caught up in the turbulence of change. We flow with whatever comes along. Not only do we preserve our peace; in the passing of time we often get to see the possible purpose of the things that come along. Always: one door closes, another opens.