There once was a farmer whose only possession was a prized horse. All the people of the village ridiculed him. “Why put all your money into a horse? Somebody could steal it and you will have nothing.”
The horse did not get stolen, but sadly enough the horse did run away.
“You fool,” the villagers said, “you should have diversified; not put so many eggs in one basket. Now you have nothing. You are so unlucky.”
The farmer, being a wise man, answered, “Don’t say I am unlucky. Just say that my horse is no longer here. That is a fact. We don’t know what may happen next.”
Sure enough, the next day the horse returned and with him was a herd of wild stallions. The villagers exclaimed, “You were so right! Look how fortunate you are!”
The farmer replied, “You cannot possibly know if this is fortunate or unfortunate. We do not have the whole story yet. Merely say that we have got more horses than before.”
The farmer sent his only son to tame the wild horses. He was thrown and broke his leg. The doctor said he would be crippled for life. The villagers again decried his misfortune, but again the farmer asked them to withhold judgment.
Soon thereafter, a war broke out in their country and all the healthy young sons were drafted into battle. Only the farmer’s son was left behind. The fighting was fierce and most of the other boys in the village died at war.
“You were right again, farmer,” the villagers said.
The farmer shouted, “On and on you go, judging this, judging that. Who do you think you are? How is it that you presume to know how this is all going to turn out?”
Neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Just a thing.