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U Tell Me? Good Thing or Bad Thing?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

An ancient Sufi story:

There was an old man and his son that lived in a valley and they were very poor. The old man decided to make a change of profession and sold all of his worldly goods, borrowed money and bought a stallion to train and sell.



The old man put the stallion in his paddock and went to bed. In the morning he awoke to see the stallion had knocked the top bar off its hinge and had escaped.

All of his friends and neighbors came by in sympathy and cried, "How terrible you have gone into debt, you have sold all your possessions. How terrible how bad!"

The old man looked at them and calmly said, "Good thing, bad thing, who knows?"

In a week or so the escaped stallion fell in with a group of others and all of the wild horses drifted to the old man's valley. He and his son were able to entice them into the paddock which he had fixed. They now had the original stallion back plus 12 more which could be trained and sold.



All of his friends and neighbors came by once again congratulating him with good fortune.



The old man looked them in their eyes and said, "Good thing, bad thing, who knows?"

The old man and his son started training the horses and while his son was on a horse, it bucked and tossed him. While on the ground, the stallion stomped on his leg breaking it. He would never walk again without a limp.



Once again all of the old man’s friends and neighbors came by in sympathy, weeping, "How terrible! Such a young man! So handsome! How will he now marry and have a wife?"




The old man looked at them once again and declared, "Good thing, bad thing, who knows?"

That summer the king of the country declared war and press gangs came through the countryside inducting all the young men into the army. The old man's son was spared because of his injured leg.



All the villagers who had sons now in war came by sobbing and crying of their terrible loss.



But they could not help but tell the old man how fortunate he was to have his son still with him. The old man looked at them and predictably responded, "Good thing, bad thing, who knows?"

And so it goes on and on!



ChiTown Jeff
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Why do we need to be so quick to label things good or bad?



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