A setback may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Therefore, don’t judge things by what it seems on the surface.

The following is a Wiktionary translation of an ancient Chinese story that illustrated the point:

It can be difficult to foresee the twists and turns which compel misfortune to beget fortune, and vice versa. There once was an old man, skilled in divination, who lived close to the frontier with his son. One of his horses accidentally strayed into the lands of the neighboring country and lost, so everyone consoled him. But the old man said, “Why should I hastily conclude that this is not fortunate?”

After several months, the horse came back from the neighboring land, accompanied by another stallion, so everyone congratulated him. But the father said, “Why should I hastily conclude that this cannot be unfortunate?”. One day his son fell off the stallion, and broke his leg, so everyone consoled the old man. But then he said, “Why should I hastily conclude that this is not fortunate?”

One year later, neighboring country invaded the frontier, and all able-bodied men took up arms and went to war. Of the men from the frontier who volunteered, nine out of ten men perished from the war. It was only because of the son’s broken leg, that the father and son were spared from this tragedy.

Therefore, misfortune begets fortune, and fortune begets misfortune. This goes on without end, and its depths cannot be measured.

What’s embedded in this story is the wisdom that things appearing good on the surface may turn out to be bad, and of course bad things may turn out to be good. You never know what it is. The deeper meaning is to tell people that things constantly change, and therefore don’t be swayed by what it seems on the surface. Don’t judge, just watch.

Safety and danger alternate with each other. Good fortune and bad fortune interchange with each other. Fastness and slowness succeed each other. Collection and dispersion are related to each other. – 庄子

Things come and go, good turns bad and bad becomes good all the time. When you are in good fortune and things are all appearing good, be humble and modest. When things are looking bad and you are experiencing hardships, be uplifting and confident. For all there is is change. No judgement of good or bad, just watch it and breathe through it. Do not become attached to a particular situation but simply let it be, and you will be in the flow with least resistance. It is the art of letting go and non-attachment.

[bctt tweet=”Every cloud has a silver lining, and in life’s most difficult times lies the biggest opportunity to grow exponentially.” username=”SueMaisano”] Every cloud has a silver lining, and in life’s most difficult times lies the biggest opportunity to grow exponentially. A setback may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Therefore, cherish everything you got, good or the seemingly bad.