There’s an old story which perfectly demonstrates how to know if something is truly good or bad.

There are 2 farmers, Joe and Mike, at the fence between their properties, and Joe asks Mike, “How have things been going for you?

Mike responds that a while back, one of his two horses ran away, at which point Joe says, “That’s terrible!

No it isn’t,” responds Mike.

“It’s true my horse ran away, but the next day he came back and brought two other horses with him.”

“That’s great!” says Joe.

“No, it isn’t.

“My oldest son tried to tame one of the new horses, fell off, and broke his leg.”

“That’s terrible!”

“No, it isn’t.

“The militia came ’round recruiting all the able-bodied men, and let my son stay home because of the broken leg.”

“That’s great!”

“No, it isn’t.”

Of course, you see where this story’s going.

Nothing is either great or terrible.  It just leads to the next thing, which itself is neither great nor terrible, but just a step on the path.

Today, America is swearing in a new president, and lots of folks are saying it’s great, while lots of others are saying it’s terrible.

We’ll just have to wait and see where this leads to know whether it’s a good thing or not.

And this is how we have to respond to many events in our lives.  Wait and see what happens as a result before we label it as good or bad.

There are many more forces at work than the obvious ones on the surface.

I’ve known some people who consciously CHOSE to be stung by bees to stimulate their healing response, and sometimes, even the worst events can act as a catalyst for positive change.

In general, I’ve found that you get better results if you start with an assumption that everything is good, because this line of thinking will help you find the silver lining around the dark clouds, and help you make silk purses out of sows’ ears.

Of course, we also have to take action and be a force for positive change whenever we can.

We can’t just sit back and expect other people to do our work for us.

It’s times like this that remind me of the old Serenity Prayer.

“God, give me the strength to change the things I can, accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I may not be able to change what happens at the nation’s capital, but I can do something to help individuals improve their lives.

Which is why I’ve created so many books and audio programs over the years, and why I’m working on creating another one.

It’s my mission in life to be of service.