Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Perhaps,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “What great luck!” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Perhaps,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Perhaps,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Perhaps,” said the farmer...
One take-away I have from this parable is that, while we should certainly celebrate when things go well, we should not get carried away. Simultaneously, when bad things happen we should not lose our cool. Life is not only a series of ups and downs but also, some "bad luck" may turn out to be "good luck."
For example, when my department was laid off many years ago, I was hit pretty hard. Yet in the end, the new position I got led me to better personal and financial rewards and ultimately, to where I am today.
So I have learned it pays to have a sense of equanimity throughout both life's good and bad times. I also realized that life is not a collection of discrete occurrences or events but that everything we do is linked together; our lives are a series of interconnected days.