An old Chinese story of unknown origin tells of a farmer who used an old horse in his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer’s neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”
A week later, the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills, and the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. He replied, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”
Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone again sympathized with the farmer over his bad luck. But the farmer’s reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”
Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and drafted every able-bodied youth they found. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him stay.