February 2010


An old farmer lost his horse. Who knows it wasn’t a good luck?

-- This saying has its origin from Han-Dynasty (202 - 02 B.C.): essay collection
<<Huai Nan Zi>>


There was an old farmer named Sai. One day he lost one of his horses which served as his livelihood. His neighbour came over and comforted him:” Poor Sai. What a bad luck!” Old Sai was calm:”Who knows this is bad luck?” Several days later, the lost horse came back together with a beautiful white horse. The neightbour came again:”Congratulations, Old Sai! What a good luck!” Old Sai was calm: ”Who knows this is good luck?” The son of Old Sai was so excited about the new white horse that he rode it whole day long. One day he fell out of the horse and broke his legs. The neighbour came again: ”What a bad luck!” Old Sai was calm: ”Who knows this is bad luck?” The war broke out. Every young man of the village was sent to the battlefield, except Old Sai’s son.  All the other young men died. The son of Old Sai was the only one who survived.

Every school kid in China learns this story. It tells that we shall not have fixed views about people and situations. The positive and the negative is not absolute. It interferes with each other.

The whole world admired the beautiful Princess Diana when she got her Prince. How many people knew that the magnificent wedding was the beginning of a deep tragedy? What we see in surface is usually not the whole truth.

How can we apply this to our personal lives? We can accept more for who we are and the life we have.

If you don’t earn so much money, remember that people who earn more than you spend more time and efforts on work, and they have less time for their family and have less leisure time.

If you don’t have leisure time, remember that you prioritize your career and it gives the recognition you need.

The list can be much longer.

This doesn’t mean that we shall just accept everything and remain in a situatin no matter what it is. It’s important not to take this thinking too far. It’s always about balance, in this case balance between accept and action. However, when we are stressed and unsatisfied, this relative way of thinking can help us to find peace and gather our forces, and it gives us energy to change the situation that we are not satisfied with.