How do you know it is Bad Luck

In my previous blog post I wrote about the blunder I made in the year 2006 and how I am still suffering from it. Link to that article is below:

But every cloud has a silver lining. I started yesterday to think of all the factors that make up the silver lining. Basically this method – taught by the Stoics – tells you to desire what you already have as a method to experiencing joy and contentment in your life. I will be writing another blog on this Stoic philosophy soon.

First I told myself that life would have remained suffering even had I acted wisely in the year 2006. I am suffering now; I would have suffered even had I had myself a wife and kids and money in the bank. I have just exchanged one set of unsatisfactory experiences for another.

Second the method of the Stoics: I have good health, a roof over my head, food on the table and no financial worries. I have not ruined the life of some woman who would have married me and then would have had to divorce me when the marriage did not work out. I have not fathered children whom I would have been unable to support. I have avoided a good amount of bad karma and saved myself a huge amount of aggravation and inconvenience that all married couples go through.

Third I may think that insight is a booby prize. What I have learned over the past 16 years could have been explained to me in the year 2006 in a few sentences. But what was important was the journey. I was feeling a huge amount of rage and hatred in 2006. I am not sure I would have treated my wife and children well in that state. But now I have changed as a person and it is the journey that brought it about. And I have avoided bad karma and harming people along the way.

The last point is summarized in a famous Chinese parable. The quotation below is from the book The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang. This book is a classic for the ages and I have written about it in other articles in my blog. Quoting from the book:

The great Taoist philosopher Liehtse gave the famous parable of the Old Man At the Fort:

An Old Man was living with his son at an abandoned fort on the top of a hill, and one day he lost a horse. The neighbors came to express their sympathy for this misfortune, and the Old Man asked “How do you know this is bad luck?” A few days afterwards, his horse returned with a number of wild horses, and his neighbors came again to congratulate him on this stroke of fortune, and the Old Man replied, “How do you know this is good luck?” With so many horses around, his son began to take to riding, and one day he broke his leg. Again the neighbors came around to express their sympathy, and the Old Man replied, “How do you know this is bad luck?” The next year, there was a war, and because the Old Man’s son was crippled, he did not have to go to the front.

Sourced from – )

Ok I think that is quite enough philosophy for one article.

I’ll end here. Please share this article on FB, WA and Twitter and let me have your comments. Feedback from my readers keeps me going.

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