Change & Judgement

10 Feb

How do you reconcile terrible happenings?

Mary-Oliver-Quote-Box-of-Darkness_edited-1

One of my very first yoga teachers, Yong Kooi, used to tell this story after our meditation practice:

In ancient China, there was once a farmer. He was poor and had only an old horse to plough his fields. 

One day, when he was working the field, the horse dropped dead.

All the farmer’s neighbours said, “What a terrible thing to happen!”

The farmer simply said, “We’ll see.”

The neighbours admired his attitude and felt sorry for him, so they banded together and gave him a new horse. 
Everyone’s reaction now was, “What a lucky man.” And the farmer said, “We’ll see.” 

A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, “How terrible! You poor man…” 
The farmer smiled and said, “We’ll see.”

China Horse

The horse came back some days later, followed by another horse. Now all the neighbours said “Look how lucky you are! TWO horses!”
The farmer said, “We’ll see.”

Later that year, the farmer’s son was thrown from one of the horses and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, “What a terrible thing for a young man.” 
The farmer said, “We’ll see.”

Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.
All the neighbours were jealous and said “What fortune that he was thrown from the horse!” 
Once again, the farmer smiled  – and said “We’ll see.”

Moral of the story: Your reactions to events and circumstances may seem valid at that moment, but what looks like a setback could actually be a gift in disguise, or vice versa. And you won’t know which.
So spare your  judgements. Notice how quickly you apply them. Notice how much energy they take: the drama that comes with them, the tears, the ecstasy.
See if you can sit back, take a breath and say…”We’ll see.”

Don Draper

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3 Responses to “Change & Judgement”

  1. ochobrazos February 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Reblogged this on Ocho Brazos Yoga and commented:
    This

  2. Grace Hollier February 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    No matter our circumstances, it is how we respond to them.
    Loved the above story.

  3. lucybjames February 11, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    Love it!

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