Perhaps you know this ancient tale. The Taoist farmer?
It goes like this;
Once there was a farmer who was lucky enough to own a horse. All the neighbors were envious of his good fortune.
One day the farmer neglected to close his gate and the horse escaped. All the neighbors came to commiserate about his bad luck. The farmer just shook his head when they told him how bad this was, as now he had no strong animal to pull his plow. He replied…maybe.
The next day the horse returned followed by three wild horses. Now the farmer had an entire herd. The neighbors cried out How wonderful! Maybe, replied the farmer.
The farmers son was excited to break in the new horses he got thrown and broke his leg. The neighbors came to commiserate…What bad luck! The farmer shook his head and replied…maybe.
A few days later the army came through to draft young men for battle. The farmers son was rejected due to his broken leg. How lucky cried the neighbors! Maybe, replied the farmer.
And so it goes.
Good fortune or bad fortune? This old story shows the wisdom of detachment. Nothing is all good or bad and only time can bring the entire story into focus. In other words the story of our lives is never complete and what seems bad can be good and what seems good can be bad.
The real wisdom comes in not caring. Not reacting, not taking it personally.
The story is the story, it is not necessarily positive or negative. It just is.
The farmer represents true detachment. Non-reaction and the pure grace of not taking life’s events personally. By saying maybe he allows for the experience to unfold and to ripen towards conclusion. Without his emotional energy or input.
What a gift. Look at the story of your life right now. Look at the story of the world and maybe, try to say…