Today I was listening to a commencement speech and the speaker quoted Kipling, “Meet triumph and disaster, and treat both those imposters the same…”
It reminded me of a story I read recently…
An old farmer had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
Initially I loved that story. It is a wonderful lesson in remaining calm and living in a state of non-judgement. Nobel indeed, and I can fully appreciate the thought of not getting swept up emotionally in the (apparent) peaks and valleys in one’s life.
He is at peace with whatever happens…unattached to it.
I kind of like the peaks and valleys. They make me feel alive.
I’m not saying that I wish for things in my life that will cause me pain and sorrow. Rather, when those things (inevitably) happen, I am growing more comfortable with allowing myself to experience a full range of emotions.
I have learned an awful lot about myself through experiencing, and emerging from, the caverns of anger, anxiety and depression.
What I do like about the farmer is he doesn’t worry about what will come next…he simply says, “Maybe” (or we’ll see..). Again, his lack of attachment to the outcomes is admirable, but me…I want to be an optimist. I want to believe that good things will happen…not just that things will happen. Inherent in that is knowing that bad things will happen too.
I like the fact that he is at peace knowing that whatever happens, he will be okay.