Thursday, July 7, 2016

GOOD LUCK OR BAD LUCK... WHO KNOWS?





Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found very effective – was telling a nice story in two tenses… the Present and the Past. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people, who were earnest about improving their English, with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and, then, tell it to someone…

I had first come across this mystical (Chinese) story in Fr. Anthony de Mello’s book – ‘THE SONG OF THE BIRDS’. Reportedly, this story used to be the late Jesuit’s most favourite story. I have shared it in my training sessions and Blog umpteen times… It is simply timeless… a classic. Yes, it is my favourite, too…



GOOD LUCK OR BAD LUCK…
WHO KNOWS?


PAST:

There lived, in a Chinese village, a wise old-man. He had a great horse and everyone in the village thought that the old man was the most fortunate one. 


Then, one day, the horse fled into the nearby mountains. The news spread through the village and the villagers came rushing to the old-man’s house to sympathize with him on his ‘bad luck’.


But, the wise old-man only said: “Bad luck or good luck, who knows?”


Many days passed by… The horse returned to the old-man’s house – delightfully accompanied by a beautiful mare!


The news spread through the village and the villagers, once again, came rushing to the old-man’s house… this time, to congratulate him on this ‘good luck’.


But, the wise old-man, only said:Good luck or bad luck, who knows?”


Many days passed by… While riding on the beautiful mare, the old-man’s young son was thrown off and he broke his legs! 


The news spread through the village and the villagers made a bee-line to the old-man’s house, all over again… Yes, this time around, to sympathize with him on his latest ‘bad luck’.


But, the wise old-man had only this to say: “Bad luck or good luck, who knows?”


Many more days passed by… A war broke out with the neighboring state. The soldiers marched into the village and picked every able-bodied young-man. When they came to the old-man’s house, they saw his young son with the broken legs… And, they left him alone!


Now, is it ‘Good Luck’ or is it ‘Bad Luck’…  Yes, who knows?



PRESENT:

There lives, in a Chinese village, a wise old-man. He has a great horse and everyone in the village thinks that the old-man is the most fortunate one. 


Then, one day, the horse flees into the nearby mountains. The news spreads through the village and the villagers come rushing to the old-man’s house to sympathize with him on his ‘bad luck’.


But, the wise old-man only says: “Bad luck or good luck, who knows?”


Many days pass by… The horse returns to the old-man’s house – delightfully accompanied by a beautiful mare!


The news spreads through the village and the villagers, once again, come rushing to the old-man’s house… this time, to congratulate him on this ‘good luck’.

But, the wise old-man only says:Good luck or bad luck, who knows?”


Many days pass by… While riding on the beautiful mare, the old-man’s young son is thrown off and he breaks his legs! 


The news spreads through the village and the villagers make a bee-line to the old-
man’s house, all over again… Yes, this time around, to sympathize with him on his latest ‘bad luck’.


But, the wise old-man has only this to say: “Bad luck or good luck, who knows?”


Many more days pass by… A war breaks out with the neighboring state. The soldiers march into the village and pick every able-bodied young-man. When they come to the old-man’s house, they see his young son with the broken legs… And, they leave him alone!


Now, is it ‘Good Luck’ or ‘Bad Luck’…  Yes, who knows?


GERALD D’CUNHA


No comments: