After so much positive feedback on other poems on the blog (like “How Do You Live Your Dash and Don’t Wish It Were Easier, Wish You were Better), I want to share a poem I read in the book, No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners: Clear Answers to Burning Questions About Core Buddhist Teachings by Noah Rasheta (read the book review on it I wrote here).
What Is Good and What Is Bad?
One day, an old farmer is out working in the field when, out of the blue, a horse appears.
The farmer’s neighbor comes running over and exclaims, “how fortunate you are! A horse has appeared out of nowhere, and now it’s yours!”
The farmer simply replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”
Later that day, the horse shows up back in the field with four additional roses. Once again, the neighbor interprets this as good fortune, and once again, the farmer replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”
After the farm’s son falls off one of the horses while riding and breaks his leg. “How unfortunate,” says the neighbor. “Your only son has a broken leg!”
But the farmer simply replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”
The next day, the army comes to town to conscript all the young men for a war, but it can’t take the farmer’s son because of his broken leg. The neighbor comes running over and says, “how fortunate for you. My son was taken, but yours has a broken leg and because of that…”.
He pauses and simply says, together with the farmer, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”
My Thoughts of Good or Bad Poem
For my own reflection of this poem – I realize how quickly I (we) are to judge something that happens to us. We feel we are the “victim” of a random event. Why me? Why now? What is this supposed to mean for the track of my life.
This poem forces us to realize, let things happen and try to make the most of them. Don’t try to say this is bad and this is good and I need more good things to happen else I will be angry at the world.
You must have had this happen in your own life – something that you thought was bad luck that later became a strategic advantage, and vice versa. So let’s not be so quick to judge and let’s enjoy our life while we are still here.
What Do You Think of the Poem?
So we can’t get ahead of ourselves when things happen. I am going to try to remember this poem when good and bad things happen to me – well – now – is it even true they happen at all?
I’d love to hear your comments in input below in the comment section.
PS: Want to read more motivational quotes and poems – check ’em out here.