My daughter and I read every night together and one of our favorite books in entitled Zen Shorts, about a panda who befriends a trio of siblings and uses stories Buddhist teachings as they navigate their life.
One of my favorite’s is called The Farmer’s Luck. I copied a version for you to read:
There was once 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 two other wild horses.
“Such good luck!” 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.
Again, the neighbors came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Such bad luck,” they said.
“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.
“Such good luck!” cried the neighbors.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
The idea, of course, is that without knowing the outcome one can never know whether an event is truly “good” or “bad” and that, in fact, in life the good and bad times intertwine.
Such is the case with David Robinson breaking his foot in 1996. Spurs fans heard he was out for the remainder of the season and I am sure we all said “such bad luck.” But then, the lottery gods shined down and not only did Robinson make a full recovery and participate the following season, but in his absence (and the Spurs losing record) he had acquired a partner in crime.
“Such good luck.”
What if he had not been out that season. Where would the Spurs have landed in the draft, and where would Tim Duncan have been drafted.
Remember, were it not for a hurricane (“such bad luck”), Timothy Theodore Duncan might just have been the Virgin Island’s most celebrated Olympic swimmer.
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