When `bad luck' proves helpful

City Talk | 11 Oct 2016

This is one of the most famous Taoism stories of all time.

There was once an old man who kept horses.

One day, one of his horses ran away.

His neighbors came and said: "Oh, what a horrible thing to happen!"

The old man replied: "We'll see."

After a while, the horse came back with seven others, so the old man became rich.

His neighbor came again to congratulate him. The old man said: "We'll see."

Some time passed, and then his son broke his leg while riding a horse.

His neighbors came to show sympathy to his son.

The old man said: "We'll see."

Then war broke out.

The Chinese government demanded that all young men join the military and become soldiers.

The army came into the village to draft new recruits.

When they saw that the son of the farmer had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.

At the end of the war, the old man's son also became the only surviving young man in the village, for all the other young men had died in the war.

The story reveals the philosophy behind the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu that once you ascribe the "good" to something, then one must expect the "bad" to coexist.

When there is conflict, the only thing we should do is to remain "empty," as the effects of conflict may change.

There is no happiness without sadness.

You cannot simply tell if an event is lucky or unfortunate on the surface of things.

When we meet adversity, we ought to remain calm and wait to see what develops.

In feng shui or in things that are more of a metaphysical nature, we often advise clients that good and bad luck often go hand in hand and that it is very unlikely to enjoy only luck all of the time.

Likewise when you are experiencing testing times, hang in there, for things will eventually improve.

Only those with faith and perseverance will thrive and shine.

Kerby Kuek has published 15 books on feng shui, inner alchemy, Taoism and metaphysics. He can be contacted at www.kerbykuek.com

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