[Coaching Tips] Good Luck or Bad Fortune?

In his book Zen Shorts, author Jon J Muth introduces us to a wise Panda named Stillwater who has both wisdom and the patience to impart it on three young children who live next door.

Muth, who has also written some other really special books geared toward children such as Zen Ties, The Three Questions, and I Will Hold You ’till You Go to Sleep tells the tale in Zen Shorts of The Farmer’s Luck:

There was once an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years.

One day, his horse ran away. Upon hearing he new, his neighbors came to visit.

“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two other wild horses.

“Such good luck!” the neighbors exclaimes.

“Maybe,” replied the farmer.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horse, was thrown off, and broke his leg.

Again, the neighbors came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Such bad luck,” they said.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after that, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army to fight in a war. Seeing that his son’s leg was broken, they passed him by.

“Such good luck!” cried the neighbors.

“Maybe,” replied the farmer.

Life, as the new year starts rolling, is like Muth’s farmer’s luck: filled with maybe’s to be appreciated – not necessarily savored – in the moment.

More on Muth, courtesy of Book Wholesalers Inc. is here, where he notes that “Children are capable of intuitively grasping wisdom as readily as adults are.