Richard G. Petty, MD

The Horse, The Farmer and Silver Linings

I was talking to someone who has recently had a series of apparent mishaps in his life. And yet every one of them has so far turned out to have a silver lining,

I made the point to him that if we do indeed live in a meaningful, purposeful Universe, then we also have to accept that we cannot always see the reasons why thing happen. Certainly some things may happen “by chance,” but most events that involve conscious thought cannot be explained away as “chance” or “coincidence.”

It reminded me of a story that has been told and retold around the world in different forms since the dawning of time. I like this version from China:

“There was a wise old farmer whose horse ran away. All the neighbors came to commiserate and say, “That’s bad.”

But the farmer said, “Perhaps.”

Then the next day, the horse came back with a whole herd of wild horses, and the neighbors all said, “That’s good.”

And the old farmer said, “Perhaps.”

The very next day the farmer’s son broke his leg trying to tame one of the wild horses and the neighbors said, “That’s bad.”

And the old farmer said, “Perhaps.”

Just after the son broke his leg, the army came through and drafted all the young men and took them off to war. But they left the farmer’s son because his leg was broken.

All the neighbors said, “That’s good” to which the wise old farmer simply said, “Perhaps.”

“But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it’s better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you’re fighting for.”
–Paulo Coelho (Brazilian Writer, 1947-)

“Every human life had its pattern that had to be worked out slowly to its ultimate conclusion.”
–Irving Stone (American Writer, 1903-1989)

“Man has come here with a definite purpose. Life is not meant merely for eating drinking and procreating.”
–Sri Swami Sivananda (Indian Physician and Spiritual Teacher, 1887-1963)

“There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.”
–Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Swiss-born American Psychologist, 1926-2004)

“You cannot discover the purpose of life by asking someone else – the only way you’ll ever get the right answer is by asking yourself.”
–Terri Guillemets (American Writer, 1973-)

“You have a purpose only as long as you are not complete; until then, completeness, perfection, is the purpose. But when you are complete in yourself, fully integrated within and without, then you enjoy the Universe; you do not labor at it.”
–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (Indian Spiritual Teacher and Exponent of Jnana Yoga and Advaita Doctrine, 1897-1981)

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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