Clear Vision Counselling
September 6th, 2012
September 6th, 2012

Maybe - A Zen Buddhist Fable

Is something good or bad......Maybe.


Once upon a time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son´s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

-A Zen Buddhist Fable

We are often so quick to judge a situation as bad or good. Have you ever noticed that something you thought was the worst thing that could every happen to you turned out to be a blessing? Or that a situation you considered to be wonderful was in fact not in your best interest?

This speaks to the idea that we can't ever truly know whether something is bad or good so why not reserve judgment?

We can keep in mind another thought as well. Although I often don't know what anything is for, I do know that things typically work out in the end.


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