Who Knows What is Bad and What is Good?

October 29, 2009

Recently I encountered a woman who had two rear end collisions in the same week. neither were her fault. The second one was more serious than the first and resulted in her having a CAT scan of her brain. This revealed the early detection of a form of malignant brain cancer. The second rear ender may end up saving her life. It reminded me of a wonderful Chinese fable about a villager who had a son who was the apple of his eye and a fine white stallion, which everyone admired. One day his horse escaped from his field and disappeared. The villagers came to him and said: “You are such an unlucky man..” The peasant responded: “Who knows what is bad and what is good?” The next day the stallion returned with a mate. The neighbours visited him again and congratulated him for his good fortune in doubling his herd. Again, he just said: : “Who knows what is bad and what is good?”  The next day his son attempted to break the wild horse when the mare kicked and broke his leg. Once more, everyone came with their condolences: “It’s terrible.” Again, he replied: : “Who knows what is bad and what is good?” A few days passed and his poor son was limping around the village with his broken leg, when the emperor’s army entered the village announcing that a war was starting and they required all the young, fit men of the village to join the army. The villager just smiled and said: “Who knows what is bad and what is good?”