One day in an ancient Chinese village a farmer by then name of Zhao went out to feed the mare he and his family owned. This mare was one of the most valuable of all the farm animals, as she not only provided transportation, but also pulled their wagon and did the plowing and other heavy farm work.  But when Zhao came to the barn, the fence was broken and the mare was gone.

Upon hearing about this, his neighbor, a man by the name of Chen, came over to see what had happened.  He said to Zhao, “I am so sorry your horse has run away, that is such bad luck”.  To which Zhao replied, “Do not say it is bad luck, things just are what they are”.  Several weeks passed and it was very difficult for Zhao and his family to do all of the farm work without their mare, when one day she returned with an entire herd of wild horses.  That afternoon Chen came over and said to Zhao, “How wonderful that you are now a very wealthy man with all these horses, this is truly good luck for you”!  Zhao replied, “Do not say that this is good, things just are what they are”.  A few days later Zhao’s son was working at training one of the wild horses and was bucked off, breaking a leg.  Again, Chen came to visit and said, “I am so sorry your son broke his leg, what bad luck”.  Zhao’s response was “Chen, do not say that this is bad, things just are what they are”.  A few weeks passed and a war broke out with one of the neighboring territories.  Officials came to everyone’s house to recruit all the young men to go to war, but they did not take Zhao’s son, as he had a broken leg . . . .

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