Who Knows What’s Good and What’s Bad?

The Chinese character depicting Tao, the centr...
Image via Wikipedia

This week I’m going to share a traditional Taoist story that’s a favorite of mine:

When an old farmer’s stallion wins a prize at a country show his neighbor calls to congratulate him.  The old farmer replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”  The next day some thieves steal his valuable animal.  His neighbor calls to commiserate with him but the old man replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”  A few days later the stallion escapes from the thieves and joins a herd of wild mares, leading them back to the farm.  The neighbor calls to share the farmer’s joy, but the farmer replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”  The following day, while trying to break in one of the wild mares, the farmer’s son breaks his leg.  The neighbor calls to share the farmer’s sorrow, but the old man replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”  The following week the army passes by, forcibly conscripting soldiers into their army but they don’t take the farmer’s son because he cannot walk.

The neighbor thinks to himself “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

3 thoughts on “Who Knows What’s Good and What’s Bad?

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