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December 24, 2019

Perhaps

In a guided meditation on Calm, Tamara Levitt relays one of my favorite parables.

It’s the story of a farmer and his fortune and demonstrates how to handle uncertainty and the benefits of impermanence.

The story illustrates the wisdom embodied by the phrase “this too shall pass.”

There once was a farmer who’s horse ran away. When his neighbors heard the news, they came over to express their condolences. “How terrible! Your horse has run away,” they said.

“Perhaps,” the farmer replied.

The next day, the horse returned and brought with him three wild horses.

The farmer’s neighbors came to the farm and declared, “What good fortune you have!”

“Perhaps,” the farmer replied.

The next day, the farmer’s son rode one of the wild horses. The horse threw him from his back and the son broke his leg. He would walk with a limp for the rest of his life.

“What bad fortune you have!” The neighbors declared to the farmer.

“Perhaps,” the farmer replied.

A few weeks later, the army came through the village to recruit young, able-bodied men. Seeing the son’s limp, they passed him by.

“What good fortune you have!” the neighbors decreed.

“Perhaps,” the farmer replied.


Stephen Weiss

Thanks for reading! My name's Stephen Weiss. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn.
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