The "Too Soon to Tell" story
One of my favorite stories...
A farmer who lived on the northern frontier of China was skilled in interpreting events. One day, his horse ran away beyond the fields and across the border. His neighbors rushed to his side and cried, "How horrible! What a tragedy!", but he simply stated, "It's too soon to tell". Several weeks later, the horse returned. But it wasn't alone—it was accompanied by a splendid stallion! Well this caused the neighbors to exclaim with joy at his great fortune. The farmer just replied, "It's too soon to tell". His response was confounding to the neighbors, who scratched their heads and returned to their labor.
The farmer's household was richer with such a fine horse. His son took to the task of training the horse for work in the fields. One day he was thrown by the stallion and his hip was broken. This appeared to be a catastrophe to the neighbors, who knew the farmer relied on his son to harvest the crops. The farmer took in the situation and thought to himself, "It's too soon to tell". Soon after, nomad warriors stormed the nearby border and all able-bodied men from the farmer's village took up weapons and went into battle. The Chinese frontiersmen lost nine of every ten men. Only because of the son's injury did the father and son survive to take care of each other.
The tides of life rise and fall—there is blessing or disaster to be found in every event. Emotional equanimity allows peace to flow in the midst of the most challenging of times.
2/22/2010 05:01:38 am
Love the story about the Chinese man! That is an excellent illustration of not only how the good and the bad can balance out over a lifetime, but of taking events as they come. Too often we jump to judgment of a situation and label it "good" or "bad," when we can just say that it "is" and move on. Do you know the author?
2/22/2010 06:03:04 am
This is a spiritual teaching story of which I've heard several different versions, never credited with an author. Sometimes, instead of "too soon to tell" it says "wait and see" or "it may be a blessing or a curse". Always the same message, though.
10/5/2012 06:09:21 pm
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