Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Walk Down Life's Path

Life is a strange and mysterious process.

As we grow up we have a picture in our head, a plan of what our life will be. And then life happens; sometimes in a blissful way, sometimes in a painful way and in both cases we may be taken by surprise!

When bliss catches us by surprise we have a feeling of awe – life is so very good. And when pain catches us by surprise we have a feeling of deep sorrow – life is so very hard.

The good experiences we claim as ours, and rejoice in the good fortune. Sometimes when we experience something we judge as bad we tend to place blame on ourselves, someone or something else. When things happen in my life I’m reminded of the story of the Chinese farmer.

There was a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer's neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?" A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?"

Then, when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?
Who knows?

It is good to remember that things may not be what they seem on the surface. It would be wise to be grateful for all life’s experiences as we don’t really know where the lessons are that will bring us to Joy!