Who knows what is good and what is bad?

We receive numerous questions about resilience, how to develop resilience in leaders and their teams every week. It is definitely top of mind for many organizations at this moment.

I came across this story and it struck me as a story with which every coaching session, workshop and training on resilience should start.

When an old farmer’s stallion won a prize at a country show, his neighbor called round to congratulate him, but the old farmer said, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?

The next day some thieves came and stole the valuable animal. When the neighbor came to commiserate with him, the old man replied, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

A few days later the spirited stallion escaped from the thieves and joined a herd of wild mares, leading them back to the farm. The neighbor called in to share the farmer’s joy, but the farmer responded, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?

The following day, while trying to break in one of the mares, the farmer’s son got thrown and fractured his leg. The neighbor called to share the farmer’s sorrow, but the old man’s attitude remained the same as before.

The following week the army passed by forcibly conscripting soldiers for the war, but they did not take the farmer’s son because he couldn’t walk. And the neighbor thought to himself, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” realizing that the old farmer must be a Taoist sage.

Events are neutral. We add an emotive value to it. How we respond to an event makes a difference.  We all have had what we perceive as a really bad situation.  When we learn from that situation those bad situations become a gift.  Sometime the gift is readily apparent and sometimes it takes years. 

As we say, you’ve paid the tuition, have you learned the lesson?

Happy Wednesday, have a great week.

The Sage & Summit Team