Only time will tell the whole story.

I welcome reader comments on my blog. They get me thinking. Here’s one, in response to my post, written after I tripped and gave myself a black eye.

Great blog today. I love how an unfortunate event becomes blog fodder. 😊

It made me aware that I hadn’t actually thought of my black eye as unfortunate. And with that awareness, I remembered the story that first shifted my thinking about good and bad fortune.

Here’s a charming version, narrated by philosopher, writer, and speaker, Alan Watts. Born in England, he moved to the US in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Watts, who died in 1973, is best known as an early interpreter and popularizer of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience.

So what can we make of this ancient teaching?

As Dr. Marlo Archer sees it:

The moral of this story, is, of course, that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate, but that only time will tell the whole story. …Rather than always having to pass judgement on things and declare them as good or bad, it would be better to just sit back and say, “It will be interesting to see what happens.”

Some might say this story is another way of saying “Turn lemons into lemonade.” I’ve been known to use truisms, but I’m not a fan of this one. From my point of view, it trivializes something that is much more profound and far-reaching.

Three beautiful books

I have a long-standing affinity with the wisdom of Eastern philosophies. And am glad to live in a time when Western thinkers such as Alan Watts, Frank Rivers, Deepak Chopra and Michael Singer have made Eastern concepts less inscrutable and more relatable. Here are three books I love.

The Way of the Owl: Succeeding With Integrity in a Conflicted World  Martial artist Frank Rivers shows readers how to successfully negotiate the daily strife in their business and personal lives. Using the owl’s bearing and conduct as a model for effectively handling conflict, he offers fresh and thoughtful strategies for confronting life’s most complex challenges with poise and integrity.

Creating Affluence: Wealth Consciousness in the Field of All Possibilities  Blending physics and philosophy, Deepak Chopra explores the meaning of wealth consciousness. With clear and simple wisdom, he presents steps for creating affluence and fulfillment on all levels of our lives.

The Untethered Soul: the Journey Beyond Yourself  What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? Michael Singer offers simple yet profound answers to these questions.

Does Eastern philosophy speak to you? What do you make of the story of the Chinese farmer? Have you had first-hand experience of something similar?