Books that I read

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good luck? Bad luck?

Read this story from an article from Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor. Like it a lot and would like to share with everyone.

An old rancher back in the Civil War days was just barely getting by. His wife had died giving birth to his only son, and he himself was somewhat crippled with arthritis. His son, therefore, did most the work around the ranch. Now, this rancher was a really nice man, and everyone in town liked him.

One day, the boy was out tilling the ground when lightning struck near the mules. The mules bolted, and the old harness could not hold them. The harness broke, and the mules ran off. Without the mules, the rancher and his son would not be able to get their crops in, and they were barely making ends meet as it is was. The whole town turned out to commiserate. "Such bad luck" they said. But the old farmer said, "Good luck, bad luck; who knows?"

The next day the mules came running home, and behind them came a whole herd of wild horses. The farmer and his son seized the opportunity because horses were worth a lot of money. Armies on both sides of the Civil War were paying a lot of money for horses. They ran outside and opened the corral gates. When the horses and mules were inside, they closed the gates. This time the whole town came out to congratulate them. "Such good luck!" they said. But the farmer just said, "Good luck, bad luck; who knows?"

The next day the son went out to break the horses, as nobody would buy a horse he could not ride. However, the very first pony he mounted simply sunfished and switched over. This means that he went up facing west and came down facing east, and then reared completely over backwards. The boy was lucky he wasn't more seriously hurt, just a broken arm and collarbone. This time the whole town came out to say, "Such bad luck." The old farmer simply said, "Good luck, bad luck; who knows?"

The very next day the army marched through town and conscripted every able-bodied man. Of course they did not take the farmer's son, because his arm and collarbone were broken. The whole town turned out again: "Such good luck." The old farmer simply said, "Good luck, bad luck; who knows?"

The army was heading to Shiloh. Not many lived through that battle. You just never know what is good luck and what is bad luck. But when your bones are broken, you tend to think only of the pain, the inconvenience, the discomfort and so on.

The point of this little story is obvious--and I think of it as just simply, "Stop and smell the roses." Every moment is precious and when we take advantage of each one--our concerns and worries disappear. May you know peace this holiday season and treasure every moment of love and joy that you experience and share!


Alice Law said...

My friend, this story tells us "good deeds paid off!" thanks for sharing such a valuable story!^-^

You and your family too, have a joyful holiday!

Small Kucing said...

read this before. Very interesting story

Broccoli Ginger said...

:)Good or bad it's just our perception.

prince n princess mum said...

Nice story to share!

Oliveoylz said...

Whether good or bad luck befalls a person, try to look at the positive side of things. That's what the story means to me...

cheeyee said...

Alice Law - You have a great day there too!

Small Kucing - :)

Broccoli Ginger - Chinese has this saying "塞翁失马,焉知非福".

prince n princess mum - Thanks!

Olive - Yeah, very true. Loss does not necessary means bad. :)

Anonymous said...

read this before too! and yeah we never know whether its good luck or bad luck!

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