If the idea of Bankruptcy has you down – read this!

That’s terrible! That’s wonderful! That’s Life

The following is an ancient Chinese parable that is told to this day because of the wisdom it contains. Once upon a time, a poor farmer was dismayed to learn his horse had died during the night. “That’s terrible,” his neighbors said, “how will you till this rocky soil without your horse?”

“That’s life,” said the farmer to his friends. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the village, a certain rich man heard of the farmer’s plight and took pity on him, giving one of his many horses to the poor man as a gift. “That’s wonderful! How lucky you are!” exclaimed the farmer’s friends. But the farmer only said, “That’s life.”

Just two months later, frightened by flashes of lightning and bursts of thunder during a fierce summer storm, the poor farmer’s horse leapt over the fence and ran to the mountains. “That’s terrible! What will you do now?” the farmer’s neighbors asked. “That’s life.” replied the farmer.

In less than three months time, and much to everyone’s amazement, the runaway horse returned to the poor farmer. But he did not return alone, for he was accompanied by a magnificent stallion. Now the farmer had two horses! And if his son worked with one and he with the other, they could accomplish twice as much. The neighbors marveled at such great fortune. “That’s wonderful!” they said. But the farmer simply replied, “That’s life.”

Soon it was winter and no longer possible to till the frozen soil. The farmer’s son thought this would be a good time to break in the new stallion for riding. However, the small, thin boy was no match for the mighty stallion. He was violently thrown from the horse and severely injured, breaking several bones in his leg. “That’s terrible,” said the neighbors, “now your son is lame.” “That’s life.” came the answer.

In the spring, a military officer came to the village. He took with him all able bodied young men to fight in the war taking place in a neighboring province. Sadly, many of the village’s favorite sons died in the war. “How lucky you are your son is lame, for he is safe with you,” the neighbors said. Thanking them for their good wishes, the poor farmer said, “That’s life.”

You never know how events may ultimately effect your life – so like anything else, if you are mentally punishing yourself over the idea of filing bankruptcy, it’s time to stop!


by Rick Palmer

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