Neither Good Nor Bad ; Blessing In Disguise

Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Philosophy | No Comments

This is an era of depression: governments, corporations, and even individuals are struggling to survive. In recent news, I have been hearing about people forced into poverty going on to kill their family and then themselves. They don’t understand that their plight is not a hopeless situation. Often, looking back after a crisis is over, we can see that the original bad thing was not entirely a bad thing

There is one Chinese fable that goes like this:
Once upon a time, there was a man living on the northern border of China who was very good at raising horses. Everyone called him Sai Wong (meaning “an old man on the border”). One day, one of Sai Wong’s horses escaped from the stable and ran across the border straight into the territory of the Hu people. Upon hearing this news, all his neighbors came to comfort Sai Wong, and hoped he wouldn’t be too upset about the news. To everyone’s surprise, Sai Wong was not at all affected by the news, and said with a smile, “A horse running off might turn out to be a good blessing in disguise.”
Several months later, this runaway horse returned with a fine horse from the Hu’s territory. When his neighbors heard the news, one after another they came by to congratulate Sai Wong. This time, Sai Wong frowned and said to everyone,
“Getting a fine horse for nothing is probably a bad omen in disguise.”
Sai Wong had a son who enjoyed horseback riding. One day his son went riding on this fine horse from the Hu’s territory for an excursion and accidentally fell off the horse and broke a leg. So Sai Wong’s neighbors came to comfort him. They asked him not to take it too hard. Surprisingly Sai Wong said to everyone peacefully, “My son breaking a leg might be a blessing in disguise!”
His neighbors were all puzzled by his response and decided Sai Wong must had lost his senses due to grief.
However, shortly there after the Hu people began a large-scale invasion against China. All the young men had been summoned to join the army and defend the country. Because the Hu people were very swift, daring and skillful at fighting, most of those young men were killed on the battlefield. Yet, Sai Wong’s son survived the war because he did not have to join the army due to his broken leg. It was only until then that Sai Wong’s neighbors discovered the wisdom hidden in his words.

The moral of the story is as follows: Many things in a person’s life are predestined. Everything may be a blessing or a misfortune in disguise, meaning that you cannot just superficially judge whether something is a blessing or misfortune. One should just let nature run its course and not pursue outcomes. Try not to be too complacent when things go smoothly and too discouraged and depressed when you run into troubles.

“huò x? fú su? y??fú x? huò su? fú” it means ” Blessing is where calamities rest.
Calamity is where blessings hide.” It is saying that good and bad, fortune and misfortune, are just like the two sides of the same coin, one thing’s pros and cons. Another translation of the quote is “Danger is the next neighbor to security, while misfortune may be a blessing in disguise.” Life only treats diligent people well. Think positively when in trouble, and take precaution when in peace. Lao-Zi tell us this.

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