Contemplating Change

Change has many faces. Sometimes we seek it out - travel, new experiences, novel food, beverages, and the latest technology. Other times we abhor change, particularly when things change for the worst - health, finances and the weather. Radical change is often limited to a handful of moments in life - birth, leaving home as a young adult, starting a job, entering a long term relationship, getting fired, retiring and dying. 

Everything is impermanent. The only thing consistent about change is that things will never be the same. We have little choice in accepting change whether it is good or bad. It reminds me of one of my favorite parables about facing change. 

A farmer wakes up one day to find that his prize stallion has escaped. His neighbours lament about his bad luck. The farmer just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Who knows what's good and what's bad?" 

A few days later the stallion returns with four wild mares. His neighbours praise his good luck as he will be able to breed, train and sell the horses. The farmer just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Who knows what's good and what's bad?" 

The following day the farmer's son, while training the horses, falls off and breaks his leg. His neighbours console him on his bad luck as it was his only son and now he will have to do all the farm work on his own. The farmer just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Who knows what's good and what's bad?" 

A week later, the King's guards sweep through the countryside forcefully recruiting all the young man to fight in a war that will result in near certain death or serious injury. They don't take the farmer's son due to his broken leg. 

Who knows what's good and what's bad.

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