One day in late summer, an old farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he left his horse loose to go the mountains and live out the rest of its life.
Soon after, neighbors from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, “What a shame. Now your only horse is gone. How unfortunate you are!. You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?” The farmer replied: “Who knows? We shall see”.
Two days later the old horse came back now rejuvenated after meandering in the mountainsides while eating the wild grasses. He came back with twelve new younger and healthy horses which followed the old horse into the corral.
Word got out in the village of the old farmer’s good fortune and it wasn’t long before people stopped by to congratulate the farmer on his good luck. “How fortunate you are!” they exclaimed. You must be very happy!” Again, the farmer softly said, “Who knows? We shall see.”
At daybreak on the next morning, the farmer’s only son set off to attempt to train the new wild horses, but the farmer’s son was thrown to the ground and broke his leg.
One by one villagers arrived during the day to bemoan the farmer’s latest misfortune. “Oh, what a tragedy! Your son won’t be able to help you farm with a broken leg. You’ll have to do all the work yourself, How will you survive? You must be very sad”. they said. Calmly going about his usual business the farmer answered, “Who knows? We shall see”
Several days later a war broke out. The Emperor’s men arrived in the village demanding that young men come with them to be conscripted into the Emperor’s army. As it happened the farmer’s son was deemed unfit because of his broken leg. “What very good fortune you have!!” the villagers exclaimed as their own young sons were marched away. “You must be very happy.” “Who knows? We shall see replied the old farmer as he headed off to work his field alone.
As time went on the broken leg healed but the son was left with a slight limp. Again the neighbors came to pay their condolences. “Oh what bad luck, Too bad for you”! But the old farmer simply replied; “Who knows? We shall see.”
As it turned out the other young village boys had died in the war and the old farmer and his son were the only able bodied men capable of working the village lands. The old farmer became wealthy and was very generous to the villagers. They said: “Oh how fortunate we are, you must be very happy”, to which the old farmer replied, “Who knows? We shall see!”
Now you can say that you always were honest
And your word were clear from the start
But it’s more than just words that got spoken
There was language from the heart
Yet the history of uncontrolled drinking shows that fear alone has chastened but few alcoholics. Much more than fear is needed to bind us anarchists…
Several years ago speaking in Baltimore, I ran on at a great rate about the terrible sufferings we alcoholics had endured. My talk must have had a strong flavor of self-pity and exhibitionism. I kept referring to our drinking experience as a great calamity, a terrible misfortune. After the meeting I was approached by a Catholic clergyman who genially remarked I heard you say you thought that you’re drinking a great misfortune. But it seems to me that in your case that it was your great good fortune. Was this not this terrible experience the very thing that humbled you so completely that you were able to find God? Did not suffering open your eyes and your heart? All the opportunity you have today, all this wonderful experience you call A.A., once had its beginnings in deep personal suffering. In your case that was actually no misfortune. It was your great good fortune. You A.A.’s are a privileged people. Bill W.
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