The parable of the Chinese peasant

Once upon a time, in a Chinese village, there was an old farmer who lived with his son and a horse, which was their only source of livelihood.

One day, the horse ran away leaving the man without the possibility of working the land.

His neighbors ran to him to show their solidarity, saying they were sorry for what happened.

He thanked them for visiting, but asked them: “How do you know if what happened is good or bad for me? Who knows!”

The neighbors, perplexed by the old farmer’s attitude, left.

A week later, the horse returned to the stable, accompanied by a large herd of horses. When the news reached the villagers, they returned to the farmer’s house, congratulating him on his good fortune.

“Before you had only one horse and now you have many, it is a great wealth. What luck! ”They said.

“Thank you for visiting and for your solidarity”, he replied, but how do you know that this is good or bad for me? ”

The neighbors were once again baffled by the old farmer’s answer and walked away.

Some time later, the farmer’s son, in an attempt to tame one of the newly arrived horses, fell off his horse and broke his leg.

The attentive neighbors returned to visit the farmer and were very sorry for the misfortune.

The man thanked everyone for the visit and affection and again asked: “How can you know if what happened is a misfortune for me? Let’s wait and see what will happen over time. ”

Once again the old farmer’s sentence left everyone speechless and they went away in disbelief.

A few months passed and Japan declared war to China. The government sent its emissaries across the country in search of healthy young men to send to the front in battle. They arrived at the village and recruited all the young men, except the farmer’s son who had a broken leg.

None of the boys returned alive. The farmer’s son, on the other hand, recovered and the horses were sold, providing a good income.

The wise farmer went to visit his neighbors to console and help them, as they had shown solidarity with him in every situation.

Whenever any of them complained, the wise farmer would say: “How do you know if this is bad?”. If someone was too happy, he would ask him: “How do you know if this is good?”

The men of that village then understood the teaching of the wise peasant who urged them not to be exalted and not to be disheartened by events, always welcoming what is, aware of the fact that – beyond good and evil – everything could turn out to be different. from what it looks like.

 Do not quickly judge the events of life: give time to time and .. “maybe yes, maybe not … we’ll see”