A School for Creativity, Consciousness & Clarity

To Connect The Dots

There is a Zen story…

Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.


The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.


“Maybe,” replied the old man.


The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.


“Maybe,” said the farmer.

We can read this and bring it to mind whenever we find ourselves getting stuck in a storyline. When we are pausing on a particular moment and are losing track of the greater sequence. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, we can’t connect the dots looking forward, only back. Sometimes we have to simply wait and see…

Photo from our trip to Lombok some years back….

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