There lived an old farmer who had worked on his fields for many, many years. One day, his horse ran away. His neighbors dropped in to commiserate with him. “What awful luck,” they said sympathetically, to which the farmer only replied, “We’ll see.”
Next morning, to everyone’s surprise, the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How amazing is that!” the neighbors exclaimed in excitement. The old man replied, “We’ll see.”
A day later, the farmer’s son tried to ride one of the wild horses. He was thrown on the ground and broke his leg. Once more, the neighbors came by to express their sympathies for this stroke of bad luck. “We’ll see,” said the farmer politely.
The next day, the village had some visitors – military officers who had come with the purpose of drafting young men into the army. They passed over the farmer’s son, thanks to his broken leg. The neighbors patted the farmer on his back – how lucky he was to not have his son join the army! “We’ll see,” was all that the farmer said!
The neighbors are quick to offer ideas about good or bad to the experience, but the farmer’s counsel is just to be present to it.
Opinions such as good and bad are extra and lead to separation from the direct arising of the moment. The direction is not to personalize the experience, nor to withdraw from it, but to encounter and act appropriately. What is left if the idea of “how things should be” falls away?