By Michelle Taylor
One day, the old man used all his savings to buy a young and beautiful horse. The very same day he bought it, the horse jumped the fence and escaped into the hills. The neighbours came to express their concern, “Oh, that’s too bad. How are you going to work the fields now?” The farmer replied, “Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?” In a few days, his horse came back from the hills and brought eight fine horses with him. The neighbours again gathered around, “Oh, how lucky! Now you can do much more work than ever before!” they said. The farmer replied, “Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?” The next day, the farmer’s son fell off one of the new horses and broke his leg. “Such misfortune,” said the neighbours. The leg healed crookedly and left the son with a permanent limp and endless pain. The neighbours were concerned again, “Now that he is incapacitated, he can’t help you around, that’s too bad.” The farmer replied, “Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?” Soon, the news came that war has broken out, and all the young men were required to join the army. The villagers were sad because they knew that many of the young men will not come back. The farmer’s son could not be drafted because of his broken leg. His neighbours were envious: “How lucky! You get to keep your only son!” The farmer replied, “Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?” And the narrative goes on…(Old Chinese Proverb as told by DK Matai, mi2g, https://www.businessinsider.com/perfect-reason-good-thing-bad-thing-who-knows-2011-5)
This proverb is one of my favorites for explaining the Law of Relativity, which states that nothing we experience is either good or bad, it just is. We get to put meaning into whatever we experience. In February, my husband and I were in a car accident, with 2 of our children. It was not our fault and luckily we were not injured any more than whiplash, which was nothing a chiropractor couldn’t fix. With my children in my arms, I tried to stay calm, trust that everything would be alright, and that we would be safe. It would have been easy to get flustered, and initially I was. We were on our way to watch our daughters perform in an all-state choir, due to the accident, we were unable to see them perform and also unable to pick them up like we had told them. We were several hours away from our other children and I wondered if we would be able to get back to see them the next day, like we had told them. Knowing that my little ones were scared, I knew I needed to assure them everything would be alright.
When the police and ambulance arrived, my husband assessed the vehicle and while our trunk was destroyed, we would be able to continue driving. We would have to pay out of pocket to get towed and a hotel to stay in that night. We chose to keep a positive attitude, thankful that we were not injured worse and that we were being protected. We trusted that everything was working out the way it should. We arrived at a hotel, slept, and headed home the next day. We arrived safely, and our daughters rode home with their choir instructor and they arrived a few hours after us. Everything worked out for the best.
There is a benefit to choosing to see things in a positive way. The vehicle we got into the accident with was our only good running vehicle. There was a delay in trying to find the initial car driver that hit the car that hit us, and I had to go out of town. Because I chose to stay in a positive attitude, trusting that we would have what we need, I was led to call the insurance company of the car that hit us and they had the information I needed and who I needed to call. I was able to get a rental vehicle to go to the meeting. With the car being totaled and the pain and suffering claim being paid to us, we were able to sustain ourselves during the Covid-19 pandemic, when we were short on money and we were able to put in a garden to feed ourselves should we ever need to. As we trusted that everything was as it should be, we were guided to the answers we needed.
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