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Syndicated Columns

Good luck or bad luck depends on perspective

Posted April 15 2006

Q. Do you have any tips for surviving times of persistent bad luck? -- L.G., Miami Lakes

A. Bad luck is a good opportunity to see differently. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect." What you consider bad luck may very well be a blessing in disguise.

This story set in China illustrates life and luck.

A farmer who was considered a sage had a prized horse. One day, the horse vaulted the gate and disappeared. The neighbors were lamenting his misfortune. He nonchalantly said, "Good luck, bad luck, that's life!"

A few days later, his horse returned with several more horses. The neighbors congratulated him on his good fortune. He said, "Good luck, bad luck, it's all the same."

Having now several horses, his children began to ride. One day, his eldest son fell off the horse and broke his leg. His neighbors consoled him on his misfortune. He shrugged and said, "It's not good, it's not bad. It's life."

A few weeks passed and the northern tribes of China started invading. There was an announcement for forced enlistment among all able-bodied males. His son, now on crutches, was exempt from the draft.

All his neighbors said he was so lucky his son could stay home.

The English historian Edward Gibbon reminds us that, "The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators."

Live in the moment, with an attitude of acceptance and see how lucky you are.

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