One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever come across is one with regard to perspective. I’ve written about perspective and having a fresh perspective in posts before, but I think that this particular post, or more accurately, the content of this post, is the best summary of my “perspective” when it comes to perspective.
The website I’m quoting this from says the story is Taoist, but I’ve heard other people say it’s from different traditions:
[There was] an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“We’ll see,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses.
“How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“We’ll see,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“We’ll see,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“We’ll see” said the farmer.
This kind of story could keep going on and on and on — and it has relevance to every subject (you’ll notice that I’ve placed it in every category that I currently have for the posts I write). While there are some things that I categorically disagree with (the death penalty being one), I could see this story or koan as the answer to many hardships in people’s lives. Having lived through *some* hardships so far, I can understand how hearing these words are not necessarily comforting with regard to certain instances, but well after the fact (in my experience), the perspective created by these words can illuminate some unexpected insights.
I thought I’d present some examples from the news where we could apply this wisdom:
Colby Rasmus is a Jay! – Many Toronto Blue Jays’ fans are pleased (myself included) that they acquired Colby Rasmus (via trade). He may turn out to be a great player for the Jays, or he may not. We’ll see.
US debt crisis: markets focus on implications of default – Most economists (and people) following the “US Debt Crisis” will tell you that the US needs to raise its debt ceiling or there will be ramifications of epic proportions. Most of what I’ve heard/read on the issue seems to be a whole lot of politicking. If the US defaults on its loans will that be the worst thing in the world? If the US averts this “disaster,” will that be a good thing? We’ll see. (This particular We’ll See might not have a concrete answer for another 30 years).
With the death of Borders, what is the future of independent book sellers? – As Borders’ stores continue to close their doors for the final time, many speculate on what this may mean for other businesses similar to Borders. The outlook isn’t usually positive, but maybe this will free up time for other endeavors. We’ll see.
Alex Trebek injures his leg chasing a burglar – (An odd bit of news, to say the least). This particular example is quite similar to the farmer’s son falling off the horse and breaking his leg. While I don’t expect Alex Trebek to be drafted to the military, who knows what this injury will do for his “perspective” on life. And the answer is: We’ll see.
As you can see, these “three” words can apply to pretty much anything you can come up with. I’d like to invite you to share with us in the comments some situations that you initially thought were poor (or great) that turned out to be great (or not so great) with us in the comments section.
For the folks who are visual learners: Maybe – A Farmer’s Tale