Good News? Bad news? Who knows?

You’ve probably heard of this famous parable..

A farmer’s only horse ran away. The neighbors, trying to console him, said, “What terrible news about your horse. What will you do?” But the farmer said, “Bad news, good news… who knows?”

A few days later, the horse returned, leading an entire herd of wild horses. The neighbors exclaimed, “How wonderful!” The farmer replied, “Good news, bad news… who knows?”

The next day, the farmer’s son tried to ride one of the new horses. The horse threw the son, who broke both legs. The neighbors said, “What a misfortune! Your son won’t be able to work on the farm.” The farmer stood still and said, “Bad news, good news… who knows?”

Within the week, news of a war had broken out. Soldiers arrived in the village, taking new recruits. All the young men were drafted to fight, except for the farmer’s son.

Good news? Bad news? Who knows?

I received some sage advice as I was deliberating on a decision the other day.

“Is what you are going to do going to be right?” I was asked. “Probably not. Is it going to be bad? We don’t know. Is what you’ve done so far good or bad? We don’t know. It just is.”

“Just keep learning, keep forming opinions, keep testing them out. We have an urge to label things as good or bad. A things isn’t generally good or bad – it just is. We choose what we do about it.”

Sage advice, I thought.