Chinese Proverb

Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer, whose horse ran away. And all the neighbours came around to commensurate that evening, “So sorry to hear your horse has ran away. That’s too bad.” And he said, “Maybe.”

The next day the horse came back, bringing seven wild horses with it, and everybody came around in the evening and said, “Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn of events. You’ve now got eight horses.” And he said, “Maybe.”

The next day his son tried to break one of these horses and ride it and was thrown and broke his leg. And they all said, “Oh, dear that’s too bad.” And he said, “Maybe.”

The following day the conscription officers came around to recruit to force people into the army and they rejected his son, because he had a broken leg. And all the people came around and said, “Isn’t that great.” And he said, “Maybe.


The universe is filled with the most infinite complexities that we shall never be able to fully understand it. Always being concerned with immediate issues of our lives stops us from seeing the bigger picture. The moral message behind the story is that nothing in this world is good or bad, only thinking makes it so.

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