I’m not going to tell you the circumstances around this part in case you want to read the book. This is a short story within the story. Here goes:
An old man and his son worked a small farm, with only one horse to pull the plow. One day, the horse ran away.
“How terrible,” sympathized the neighbors. “What bad luck.”
“Who knows whether it is bad luck or good luck,” the farmer replied.
A week later, the horse returned from the mountains, leading five wild mares into the barn.
“What wonderful luck!” said the neighbors.
“Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” answered the old man.
The next day, the son, trying to tame one of the horses, fell and broke his leg.
“How terrible. What bad luck!”
“Bad luck? Good luck?”
The army came to all the farms to take the young men for war, but the farmer’s son was of no use to them, so he was spared.
Remember this story the next time you’re stuck somewhere or have seemingly had something in your life not go the way you expected it to. The universe works in mysterious ways and sometimes we don’t know what we’re being protected from. The reason may never reveal itself.
It’s only in hindsight what seemed like bad luck is actually good luck if we stay open. When we close down and stay mad at the past, we can’t see the gifts that are occurring in the present. But also, when we have these realizations, we have to honor them with gratitude.
If you’re in the NYC area, I highly recommend you check out one of Matt’s classes! He always brings insightful stuff like this and infuses it into the physical parts of his class. The studios where he teaches are here.