Good Fortune

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize nothing is lacking,
the whole world belongs to you. ~ 
Lao-tzu

There’s a story of a Chinese farmer and one day his horse ran away. His neighbors all came to say, “What bad fortune for losing your horse.” The farmer replied, “Maybe.”

The next day the horse came back with three other wild horses. The neighbors came to say, “What good fortune!” The farmer replied, “Maybe.”

The next day the farmer’s son tried to tame one of the wild horses. He was thrown from the horse and broke his leg. The neighbors once again came to offer their sympathy for the farmer’s misfortune. The farmer once again replied, “Maybe.”

While the boy was recuperating, a military officer came to draft all the young men into the army. Seeing the boy’s broken leg they did not take the farmer’s son. They neighbors all came to say, “What good fortune!” and the farmer once again replied, “Maybe.”

(You can watch an Alan Watts version of the story -2:20 minutes)

I offer this story to you on Thanksgiving Day (in the U.S.) as you take time to notice the many forms of your blessings.

maple leaf

Good Fortune

Good fortune is a bright red leaf
Veined in vivid gold
As well as those of brittle brown
Crumbled underfoot
Both compost for rebirth

Good fortune breathes in sunbeam rays
That warm the cloudless blue
It also breathes in thunder storms
That pour electric power
Both nutrients for life

Good fortune hides behind blocked doors
Demanding clever toil
And sees through open window panes
New vistas for new eyes
Both potential prospects

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