One way to accept without judging

March 29, 2012 by Joshua
in Awareness, Blog, Freedom, Tips

Here’s an old story that comes in many versions (here are seven), but I learned from Srikumar Rao‘s book Are You Ready to Succeed (text from this blog).

An old man lived in a valley with his son, a handsome and dutiful youth. They lived a peaceful life despite a lack of material possessions. They were very happy. So much so, that neighbors began to get envious.

One day, the old man used all his savings to buy a young wild stallion. It was a beautiful horse that he planned to use for breeding. The very same day he bought it, the horse jumped the fence and ran off. The neighbors came over to sympathize. “How terrible!” they said.

“Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?” said the old man.

Ten days later the stallion returned. It came with a whole herd of wild horses, and the old man was able to lure them into the corral and fixed it so escape was no longer possible. The neighbors again gathered around “What good fortune!” they said.

“Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?” said the old man.

His son started to train the horse. One of them threw him to the ground and stomped on his leg. It healed crookedly and left the son with a permanent limp and endless pain. “Such misfortune, “said the neighbors.

“Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?” said the old man.

The next summer, the King declared war and all the young men from the village were forced into the army. Except the old man’s son was spared because of his injured leg. “Truly, you are a lucky man,” exclaimed the neighbors who cried over the loss of their own Sons.

“Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows?” said the old man.

I come back to this story and its lessons all the time. I can’t change what happened in the past. Calling it good or bad doesn’t change it. The model that we can’t tell if something is good or bad serves me better than labeling things I can’t change. It brings me freedom to live my life rather than categorizing or labeling things.

I find accepting (or celebrating) things without judgment and moving ahead with the situation as-is more productive.

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1 response to “One way to accept without judging

  1. Pingback: Creating miracles | Joshua Spodek

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