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We never see the whole picture

Since I received such positive feedback on these, here’s another one of my favorite Zen stories –

Once upon the 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.

Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

Maybe,” 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.

Maybe,” 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.

Maybe,” said the farmer.

Like the farmer’s neighbors we often jump to conclusions, especially negative ones, before knowing all the facts. We think the worst when some malady befalls us, but experience has taught me that some of my worst experiences are the ones that taught me the most, and now I can look back and see how all of those things now look like a divine plan for my life was being orchestrated. Can you relate?

Have a great day everyone!