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Saturday, October 10, 2009
- Ancient Taoist Proverb
One day, a farmer's horse ran away. His neighbors expressed sympathy, "What terrible luck that you lost your horse!" The farmer replied, "Maybe so, maybe not."
A few days later, the horse returned, leading several wild horses. The neighbors shouted, "Your horse has returned, and brought more with him. What great fortune!" The farmer replied, "Maybe so, maybe not."
Later that week, the farmer's son was trying to break one of the wild horses and got thrown to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, "Your son broke his leg, what a calamity!" The farmer replied, "Maybe so, maybe not."
A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, conscripting all the able-bodied young men for the army. They did not take the farmer's son because of his broken leg. Friends shouted, "Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!" To which the farmer replied, "Maybe so, maybe not."
Moral: Everything is not what it appears to be.
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Further reading: Jimmy Yen - My Personal Greatest Hero
Lao Tzu: The words of truth are always paradoxical.
Aesop: Gentleness and kind persuasion win where force and bluster fail
How To Talk Yourself Into Making Personal Changes