Calamity or Blessing?

There are times in everyone’s life when something constructive is born out of adversity. – Lee Iacocca

There’s an old Chinese legend about a farmer who had one son and one horse. One day while the two men were away the horse managed to get out of his corral and ran off.

“Such bad luck!” the neighbors said to the man.

“Don’t speak too soon,” said the farmer. “How can you know if this is really bad luck?”

The neighbors were really surprised the next evening when the horse came back up with a dozen wild horses following him. He led them into the corral and the farmer’s son quickly ran and shut the gate.

When they saw that he now had thirteen horses, the neighbors congratulated the farmer. “This is such good luck for you!”

“Don’t speak too soon,” said the wise farmer. “How do you know this is going to be a good thing for us?”

Some days later the son attempted to break one of the wild horses, but the wild stallion would have none of it. He bucked frantically and the young man fell off, breaking his leg.

Neighbors shook their heads when they saw the injured son. “You were right, old man. This has been very bad luck.”

“Don’t speak too soon,” the old man calmly repeated. “How can you be sure of that?”

A few days later a local prince came through the village and ordered all the able-bodied young men to come with him to help fight his war, but the farmer’s son was left behind because of his broken leg. The other young men were never seen again. The farmer and his son rejoiced over the “bad luck” that kept him from being conscripted, too.

What we see as a disaster sometimes proves to be one of our biggest blessings.


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