Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

The Chinese Fable of Misery and Fortune

fortuneThe other day while waiting to get a haircut, I could not help but overhear a customer who was complaining that this thing or that didn’t go his way.  The stylist chimed in between snips of his hair to pile on to the list of short comings they both seemed to have in common.   Listening to someone drone on and on about their problems was beginning to get old as I perused through old issues of magazines left over from the Roosevelt administration.  The Teddy Roosevelt presidency it seemed.  As we approach the conclusion of a year and the beginning of a new one, it is a chance to reflect on the good things that came our way and an opportunity to change those things which perhaps could have been just a little bit better.

Not long ago, I ran across an old Chinese fable that puts things in perspective.  One morning a beautiful lady in a splendid gown visited a home.  She explained she was the goddess of fortune.  The whole family treated the goddess with the best wine and food, trying to keep their new guest as long as possible.    Before long, there was another knock at the door.  This woman, dressed in tattered clothes, looking very disheveled explained she was the goddess of misery.  When the family tried to reject the unwelcomed visitor, she explained that she was the twin sister of the goddess of fortune and that the rules of heaven ordained only one goddess could stay at a home at a time, and neither could stay too long.

While they were listening to the goddess of misery, they noticed the twin sister had left.  The family was angry they were left with the goddess of misery.  Eventually they all learned to live with misery and make the best of it.  After three days, misery left and they were greeted again with the goddess of fortune.     The fable tells us that in each life, we all have joy and suffering.  Some have more joy than suffering and some have more suffering than joy.  Good times do not last forever and we must all learn how to deal with the challenges which confront us.

God of Wealth

God of Fortune

Dark clouds may gather and the storm may rain down on us.  However, we are comforted in knowing that a clear day returns for those who do not lose faith and hope.     Leaving the barber shop that afternoon, it struck me how lucky I am to have the challenges I may face.  While I wish I did not have to confront them, they make the good fortune that much more rewarding.     May each of you answer the door of good fortune  in the year to come.




March 13, 2009 Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , | Leave a comment