This morning I was thinking about the events in my life over the last couple years, and an old Chinese proverb popped into my head (guess I did learn a few things in college). I don’t remember exactly how it goes, and I was just Googling to refresh my memory when I realized making up a modern day version would be way more fun.
Once upon a time there was a man who worked very hard at his job, he was good at it, and he didn’t hate it. One day he came into work to find out that he had been unceremoniously laid off. He went to the bar, full of anger, and ordered a beer. He told the bartender his story, cursing his horrible fortune. “What horrible luck!” he exclaimed angrily. The bartender nodded slowly, smiled a small smile, and said, “we shall see”.
The very next day the man was offered a job; it paid more, he loved the company, his co-workers really appreciated him, it was just better in every single way. After the best week of work he’d ever had he went back to the bar to celebrate. “What brilliant luck!” he exclaimed to the bartender. The bartender nodded slowly, smiled a small smile, and said, “we shall see”.
Not long after, the building caught on fire. Everything was lost, and the company had to shut down whilst getting everything together again. Since he was so new the man didn’t get compensated for the time off, and on top of that he was going to be questioned about the origin of the fire! He went to the bar again, stressed and upset, not believing his horrible luck. He filled in the bartender, who nodded slowly, smiled a small smile, and said, “we shall see”.
The next day the man shuffled into the court building to meet the fire inspector. A straight up goddess was waiting for him. The questioning went quickly and they stayed and chatted for nearly an hour, the time just flew by. He felt really confident around her, and asked her out as they were leaving. She said yes, and he couldn’t believe his luck…
The point of the story is that we can’t really tell if an event is “good” or “bad” because we don’t have the whole perspective, and we won’t until it’s all over. The best way to deal with an event is to simply accept it, not judge the moment, and to go with the proverbial flow.