Congratulations! Maybe.

A story from Alan Watts:

Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. And all the neighbors came around to commiserate that evening, “So sorry to hear your horse has run away. That’s too bad.”

And he said, “Maybe.”

The next day the horse came back, bringing seven wild horses with it. And everybody came around in the evening and said, “Oh, isn’t that lucky? What a great turn of events! You’ve now got eight horses.”

And he said, “Maybe.”

The next day his son tried to ride one of the horses, and was thrown off and broke his leg. And they all said, “Oh dear, that’s too bad.”

And he said, “Maybe.”

The following day the conscription officers came around to force people into the army and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. And all the people came around and said, “Isn’t that great!”

And he said, “Maybe.”

That is the attitude of not thinking in terms of gain or loss, advantage or disadvantage… so you never really know if something is fortune or misfortune.

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