A Story of the Wise Old Woman

 
 

Once a long time ago, in a place east of the moon and west of the sun, there was an old woman with a beatiful farm. She had one son, who did most of the work on the farm. 

One day the old woman’s horse ran off, and the neighbor seeing this, said, “How terrible, your horse has run off, now your work on your farm will be so difficult.”

To this the old woman replied, “We shall see.”

The next day the old woman’s horse returned leading a group of wild horses, and the neighbor seeing this, said, “How wonderful!  You have many horses, now you have great wealth and will live easily.”

To this the old woman replied, “We shall see.”

The next day the old woman’s son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg, and the neighbor, seeing this, said, “How terrible, your son has broken his leg, now your work will be doubled as nurse and farmer.”

To this the old woman replied, “We shall see.”

The next day the king’s men came to the farms seeking all able men to fight a distant battle, and the neighbor, sobbing as his son marched off, said “How fortunate you are for having an injured son, mine will surely perish in battle.”

To this the old woman replied, “We shall see.”

This is a version of an old Taoist tale that teaches there's no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our lives.  Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise…a gift we never expected.  Where is there is unexpected gift in your life today?