Uncle Sai’s Horse
The real title of this story in Japanese is, “Life is all like Uncle Sai’s Horse.” The story appears in an old Chinese philosophy book, “Huai-nan Tzu”, which was believed to be published around BC 179 – BC 122 in Han Dynasty age. This philosophy book includes our ancestors’ wisdom and considered to be influenced by Confucius, Legalism, Daoism, and character Mysticism, old Chinese main philosophies.
Once upon a time in China, there living was an old man, uncle Sai. He was making his living by trading horses. One day, his best horse ran away to the enemy country. Having no chance to get the horse back from the enemy country, his neighbor expected him to be sad and disappointed. His neighbor came to console him. Uncle Sai told his neighbors that this could be the beginning of good luck.
A while later, his run-away horse ran back to uncle Sai, taking many horses from the enemy country. His neighbor congratulated him. Uncle Sai said, “This will be the beginning of bad luck.”
Having more horses than before, his son kept playing with horses. One day, his son, riding one of the horses came from the enemy country, fell down from the horseback and broke his leg. Again, when his neighbor consoled uncle Sai for the accident, uncle Sai said, “It will bring us good luck.”
Later, a war against their enemy country broke out. Young people must have gone to the war and many of them died. But uncle Sai’s son survived because he had his leg broken and did not have to go to the war.
This is a story teaching people not to be too sad, fearful, or panicky when a something bad happens. It could turn out to be good luck. however, when a good thing happens, do not be too much glad and excited. It could be a beginning of bad luck.
When in bad luck, do what you can do best without being panicky. When in good luck, continue to work hard and prepare for rainy days. This story originated in China brought into Japan around 5th or 6th century, it became almost like a Japanese story. Also it gave birth to similar saying in Japanese. Here are some of them.
The life is like a twined rope. Good luck and bad luck come in turn. Good luck gives birth to bad luck. Bad luck creates good luck. The one I like best is “Take the bad luck. Change it to the good one.” This shows vitality of old Japanese who choose to take difficult decision and being successful.
We cannot be too panicky, fearful, or sad in bad luck. We do not have time for that. Control our emotion, accept the bad luck, and act in the way you believe to be right. Do not worry too much about what you are doing, right or wrong. If you continue to keep your effort and action in the way you believe to be right, soon you will be able to make it good luck.