I love this story very much, simple and wise.
‘There once lived a farmer. He had a son and a horse. One day the farmer’s horse ran away, and all his neighbors came to console him, saying: “what bad luck that your horse has run away!” and the old man replied: “who knows if it’s good luck or bad luck.”
“Of course it’s bad luck!” said the neighbors.
Within a week, the farmer’s neighbors came to celebrate, saying: “what good luck that you have your horse back – plus another twenty!”
And the old man replied:” who knows if it’s good luck or bad luck!”
The next day the farer’s son was riding amongst the wild horses, and fell and broke his leg. The neighbors came to console him, saying: “what bad luck!”
And the farmer said: “who know if it’s good or bad luck!”
And some neighbors were angry, and said: “of course it’s bad luck, you silly old fool!”
Another week went by, and an army came through town, enlisting all the fit young men to fight in distance lands. The farmer’s son, with his broken leg, was left behind. All the neighbors came to celebrate, saying “what good luck that your son was left behind!”
And the farmer said: “who knows?” ’ [From Follow your heart by Andrew Matthews]
I am thinking if the neighbors had anythings else to do except monitoring the old man? :)