HBB: Happy New Year

Happy new year!!!
I wish well to all in 2008.
I feel good about 2008. I start New Years 2008 in a much happier, healthier place than I've been the past couple of January firsts.

In past years, our family spent some time on New Years writing down gratitudes from the year past. This past year, I've had too many to even begin.

But, as I've thought about gratitude, I think about how things can work out. I've been lucky. Experiences I've had that seemed bad at the time sometimes ended up setting me up for something good. Lately, looking back and seeing how the good and bad experiences have been related has really helped through any new challenges.

There is this fable that has helped me keep this in mind.

So, as the start to 2008, as I sit here feeling grateful for how things have all worked out, here's my version of this story.

There was a poor rancher who owned a horse. One day, the horse ran away into the hills. The rancher’s neighbors came to console him. “You must feel terrible”, they said, “What bad luck for you that your horse ran away.”

The rancher answered, “We shall see.”

The rancher had treated the horse well, so the horse soon returned home. When the horse returned, it was followed by several wild horses from the hills.

The neighbors returned. This time they said to the rancher, “You must be so happy. What good luck you have to have these new horses.”

The rancher answered, “We shall see.”

A few days later, while working with the new horses, the rancher’s son was thrown and broke his leg. He could no longer help on the ranch.

Again, the neighbors came to the rancher. They said, “You must feel so sad that your son broke his leg. This is such bad luck for you.”

From the rancher, “We shall see.”

Several weeks later, war broke out. The military passed through the rancher’s town. They took all the young men of fighting age to join in the battle. Because of the son’s bad leg, he was skipped. He stayed on the ranch.

The neighbors returned. This time they said, “You must feel so good that your son was skipped. This is such good luck for you.”

The rancher answered, “We shall see.”

Many years later, after the rancher had seen many things in his life, as he had experienced many fortunes and misfortunes, he had become quite old and frail. One day he sat outside his home.

A new neighbor dropped by. This neighbor saw the aged, ailing, nearly blind rancher. The neighbor said, “Old man, you are so old and so ill. You must feel sad that you are no longer young, that most of life is behind you. This is such bad luck for you.”

The rancher nodded and answered, “We shall see.”


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