derek bobo: the zen master

I'd like to share one of my favorite stories with you. I first came across this as part of a dialog in the movie Charlie Wilson's War. It's about a boy and the Zen master. You may have heard it. It goes something like this:

On his sixteenth birthday the boy gets a horse as a present. All of the people in the village say, "Oh, how wonderful!"

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

One day, the boy is riding and gets thrown off the horse and hurts his leg. He's no longer able to walk, so all of the villagers say, "How terrible!"

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

Some time passes and the village goes to war. All of the other young men get sent off to fight, but this boy can't fight because his leg is messed up. All of the villagers say, "How wonderful!"

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

The message behind this story is pretty clear. We're very quick to jump to conclusions about whether something is "good" or "bad." The reality is that most things really aren't either. They just are. They exist.

I've shared this story with some of the people closest to me. When something happens I'll often say "we'll see." It's sort of become an inside joke.

It serves as a nice reminder to consider things from more than one vantage point. It serves as a nice reminder that most things are not permanent or insurmountable. It serves as a nice reminder to stop trying to control everything.

archives

2014
May
28 First you must become
2013
February
04 One Foot in Front of the Other
January
21 The Zen Master
08 Those You Spend Your Time With
2012
December
19 You're Probably a Prepper
12 Anger Management
04 All About Choices
02 What I Know About Being a Dad (so far)
01 The Dalia Lama on Humanity
November
30 Time to Reflect
28 The Leeches Must Go
26 Take a Moment to Appreciate
26 A Matter of Perspective
19 The New Rich
17 The Story of the Mexican Fisherman
15 What's on your List
14 The Most Precious Resource
13 Three Things to be Happy
11 The Joneses
07 Be Intentional
October
27 Quotes