Clarity Counseling Seattle

Helpful Chinese Proverb

October 29, 2020
Posted By: Justin Pere, LMHC, CGT


In discussing today the possible impact of next week's election, a client mentioned a Chinese proverb that could be useful if things go....that way. It goes something like this...

A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed "Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!". The farmer replied "Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see."

A few days later the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out "Your horse has returned and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!" and the farmer replied "Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see."

Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried "Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!". The farmer replied "Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see."

A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied young men for the army. The farmer’s son wasn’t conscripted, because he was still recovering from his injury. His neighbors shouted "Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!", to which the farmer replied "Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see."

The moral of this story is of course that very few events can truly be judged as good or bad when they occur...that in many cases only time will tell the whole story.

On the cusp of what could happen, regardless of the election outcome (because serious events may go down either way), we might all be served by trying to remember that only time will tell whether the upcoming events, with all their fear and uncertainty, are in the end leading into something that's improved.

The next few weeks, months, (gulp) years, may just be what we all have to manage through in order to live into a better future that, from where we are now, we simply can't yet trust will immerge.

I guess we'll just have to see.


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