I started “Life Will Make U Grow” many months ago & finished it today. It’s especially important given the story that inspired the work.
It’s a story that radically changed my life perspective. And who doesn’t need a radical perspective change right now?
So I share this beloved Tao fable as a gift in the time of COVID-19:
‘In ancient China lived Sai Ong, a man known for his skill with horses. One day, his horse escaped and ran toward a hostile region. Everyone assumed the horse was lost forever.
Horses in this time were quite valuable & the villagers visited the man to offer sympathy for his loss. Surprisingly, the man’s elderly father was unfazed, saying, “Who says this cannot be some sort of blessing?”
Months later, the horse reappeared along with a companion--a very high quality horse. Villagers were in awe and congratulated the fact that the man suddenly doubled his wealth with the appearance of the second animal. Again unfazed, his elderly father said, “Who says this cannot be some sort of misfortune?”
Not long after, Sai Ong’s son took the new horse for a ride. He lost balance, fell and broke his leg. While the villagers came calling with their sympathies, the grandfather reminded them, “Who says this cannot be some sort of blessing?”
And then war broke out & all able-bodied young men were called to the army. Of the ten villagers who were called to service, nine died. Sai Ong’s son was spared from a terrible fate because of his broken leg.
Blessings may turn to misfortunes and misfortunes to blessings.
(Paraphrased from The Tao of Daily Life)
And perhaps rather than prejudging them as either blessings or misfortunes, we should look at them as the ebbs and flows of life. A sea of waves. We learn to play in them. Sometimes they knock you down…you get back up, because…that is life.
My guy used to say, when the young athletes he coached lost a big game, “Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.”
Mary Oliver wowed me with her poetry in how she captured this mindset: “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
The point is, there is always something there for you, if you look for it. Nothing is all good or all bad.
So now as we enter this otherworldly territory of pandemic lockdowns, mixed messages and uncertainty—I am doing my best to pause and not judge how this will shape things to come.
Maybe this drill will help us better prepare so we dodge a bullet from a much more lethal health challenge.
Perhaps we slow our lives down and become more present. Perhaps we become more politically active. Maybe we share a new spirit of volunteerism?
All I know for certain is that things will change AND we are all very resilient.. Be open to all the possibilities and be well. Namaste.