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View Full Version : Good luck, bad luck; who knows?



Buttercup
2008-Dec-11, 11:34 PM
I like this wise tale. First read it years ago in a book by a Buddhist monk. Always keep it in mind when something "momentous" happens in life........

---
Good Luck Bad Luck!

There is a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer's neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?" A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?"

Then, when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?

Who knows?

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-12, 01:31 AM
That's a great story. It reminds me of the one about the guy who went hiking in the woods and cut his finger on a thorn. He ran into a group of natives who wanted to sacrifice him. But they couldn't sacrifice anybody who was wounded, so they let him go. Thank goodness he cut his finger.

mahesh
2008-Dec-13, 01:58 PM
Yeah that's a sweet tale buttercup...thanks for sharing..
anything Buddhist is always so meaningful....


That's a great story. It reminds me of the one about the guy..... so they let him go....

and that reminds me of this guy who was 'caught' by some cannibals not long after that, in their neighbourhood...

they 'dress' him up, specially painstakingly, being their Chief's birthday, using their 'condiments' etc.,
and are about to put him in their pot..'to cook'!
....the guy has a brain-wave..says.."hey wait...why not try a sample before you do cook me...".
so with a pen-knife, he artfully gouges out a largish wedge from one of his calf muscles and hands it respectfully to the Chief.

The Chief enthusiastically takes a bite out of it...hmmm, couple of chews...yuk... and disgustingly spits out the remains.
Some untranslatable, sensitively speaking, words later, the guy is immediately let off and allowed to go on his merry way.
He had a wooden leg, and he cut out a nice piece of cork for the Chief.

Buttercup
2008-Dec-13, 02:55 PM
The Chief enthusiastically takes a bite out of it...hmmm, couple of chews...yuk... and disgustingly spits out the remains.
Some untranslatable, sensitively speaking, words later, the guy is immediately let off and allowed to go on his merry way.
He had a wooden leg, and he cut out a nice piece of cork for the Chief.

:clap: Lol! :)


Yeah that's a sweet tale buttercup...thanks for sharing..

You're welcome.

I reminded myself of this story 3 years ago, when something very GOOD seemed certain. It subsequently developed into a BAD (and very disappointing) thing.

NEOWatcher
2008-Dec-15, 07:38 PM
I started to put this in the "read it again" thread...
Open Sunroof Saves Toddler's Life (http://www.ksat.com/news/18279836/detail.html)


The driver of the car, Reece Barcenes, said the only reason the sunroof was open was that the sun was shining brightly hours earlier.

Thus proving it isn't called a rainroof. :D

but;
It wasn't until the next paragraph that help frame it into a reference to divine intervention and a candidate for this thread.


"And I just happened to have it opened. Everybody here tells me it was an act of God that I had it open. Had it been not been open or a hard top, God knows what would have happened to that baby."
He might have taken a few extra moments to close it, thus delaying him to the point where the grandmother would have already crossed the street with the kid.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Dec-15, 08:19 PM
Why is it only an act of god when an unlikely series of coincidents makes something bad not happen?

SeanF
2008-Dec-15, 09:17 PM
Why is it only an act of god when an unlikely series of coincidents makes something bad not happen?
"Only"? It seems like the phrase "act of God" is used more often than not to refer to when something bad does happen - check your insurance policy. :)

tdvance
2008-Dec-15, 09:53 PM
Why is it only an act of god when an unlikely series of coincidents makes something bad not happen?

Well, if an unlikely series of coincidences causes something bad to happen, it must be an act of the devil!

NEOWatcher
2010-Jan-06, 09:27 PM
Good luck that this guy survived so long, or bad luck that he lived through the situation...



Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding company on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city.
He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki...


survivor of both atomic bombings dies at age 93 (http://www.cleveland.com/world/index.ssf/2010/01/japanese_survivor_of_both_atom.html)



Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person officially recognized as a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 09:34 PM
It shouldn't be funny, NEO, but I can't help but imagine him back in Nagasaki.

"Ooow. At least I'm home. That was awful--*boom*--Oh, COME'ON!"

Swift
2010-Jan-06, 09:38 PM
That's a great story.
Might be a great story, might be a horrible story, who knows?

;)

Fazor
2010-Jan-06, 09:45 PM
I could never be a monk. I'd have to continue the fable.

"War continues, and opposing army comes through and kills son who was too injured to flee. Good luck, or bad luck? Opposing army is forced to retreat from incoming artillery, and upon returning home, farmer finds their stash of ransacked gold and valuables. Good luck, bad luck? On the way to the bank to put the valuables in safe-deposit, the farmer steps on an unexploded artillery round, taking off both legs. Good luck or bad luck? Beautiful young neighbor girl thinks grandpa looks cute hobbling around on just his shins. Marries him. Good luck or bad luck? Mother in law moves in. Definitely bad luck. The end."

Swift
2010-Jan-06, 09:51 PM
I'm reminded of the children's book "Fortunately" (http://www.amazon.com/Fortunately-Remy-Charlip/dp/0689716605), which I had when I was a kid, and I'm happy to see is still around.

Fortunately, Ned was invited to a surprise party.
Unfortunately, the party was a thousand miles away.

Fortunately, a friend loaned Ned an airplane.
Unfortunately, the motor exploded.

Fortunately, there was a parachute in the airplane.
Unfortunately, there was a hole in the parachute.

LaurelHS
2010-Jan-06, 09:53 PM
Then there's the story about Alan Shepard. He was grounded because he developed Meniere's Disease, that was bad luck. Then he wanted to fly on Apollo 13 and didn't get to. Frustrating. But as Andrew Chaikin said in A Man On The Moon (page 348), "For Alan Shepard, the events of April 1970 had special irony. In the years after the Fire, it had occurred to him that being grounded might have saved his life; he might well have been the commander of Apollo 1 instead of Gus Grissom. Now he had been saved from the ordeal of Apollo 13 by George Mueller."

Buttercup
2010-Jan-06, 10:27 PM
Then there's the story about Alan Shepard. He was grounded because he developed Meniere's Disease, that was bad luck. Then he wanted to fly on Apollo 13 and didn't get to. Frustrating. But as Andrew Chaikin said in A Man On The Moon (page 348), "For Alan Shepard, the events of April 1970 had special irony. In the years after the Fire, it had occurred to him that being grounded might have saved his life; he might well have been the commander of Apollo 1 instead of Gus Grissom. Now he had been saved from the ordeal of Apollo 13 by George Mueller."

Cool! :cool: Thanks for sharing that.

LaurelHS
2010-May-30, 05:38 AM
This is thread necromancy, I know, but at least it's on-topic. A guy named Eric Stevenson was on Delta Airlines flight 810 on June 30, 1987. The captain mistakenly shut off the engines (http://www.nytimes.com/1987/08/09/us/delta-pilot-loses-license-over-plane-s-power-loss.html?pagewanted=1) (he lost his license for this later) and the plane almost crashed in the Pacific Ocean, but the pilots managed to restart the engines and no one was hurt. Fast forward to January 15, 2009. Stevenson was on US Airways flight 1549 when birdstrikes crippled both engines and the plane made its famous landing in the Hudson River. So, was Stevenson unlucky to end up on two planes without working engines, or was he lucky to survive two very close calls?

Gigabyte
2010-May-30, 03:27 PM
If he was lucky he would still be a pilot.

LaurelHS
2010-May-30, 07:24 PM
Oh no, I think I told this story wrong. Stevenson wasn't a pilot, he was a passenger on both flights.

danscope
2010-May-31, 05:14 AM
Hi, Good luck,bad luck. Good news/bad news.

A priest and a minister were playing 9 holes of golf, both of them quite old. The minister says..... "Now I often wonder if there is golf
in the afterlife."
And the priest says...." Well, if I pass on before you, I'll come back and let you know."

Sure enough, after some months the priest passes away, and after a week, he revisits his friend, the minister .
" Hello, Reverend Carmichael ,.... 'tis Father Cannavan himself , come back, and like I promised to tell you.
Now I have good news and bad news."
" Well , bless me, give me the good news first ."
" Allright , I shall. Now there is golf in heaven. Plenty of it. It's all free . And there's free beer as well! "
" Well pray, what's the bad news? "
" Well Reverend Carmichael , we together have a tee time next wednesday ! "

An old story, such as it is. :)

Jens
2010-May-31, 07:25 AM
Oh no, I think I told this story wrong. Stevenson wasn't a pilot, he was a passenger on both flights.

Not unless you edited it later. I think somebody read the story wrong.

Trebuchet
2010-May-31, 09:32 PM
This is thread necromancy, I know, but at least it's on-topic. A guy named Eric Stevenson was on Delta Airlines flight 810 on June 30, 1987. The captain mistakenly shut off the engines (http://www.nytimes.com/1987/08/09/us/delta-pilot-loses-license-over-plane-s-power-loss.html?pagewanted=1) (he lost his license for this later) and the plane almost crashed in the Pacific Ocean, but the pilots managed to restart the engines and no one was hurt. Fast forward to January 15, 2009. Stevenson was on US Airways flight 1549 when birdstrikes crippled both engines and the plane made its famous landing in the Hudson River. So, was Stevenson unlucky to end up on two planes without working engines, or was he lucky to survive two very close calls?

It was interesting to see that story about the pilot, since I was, years ago, involved in modifying the throttle stand on the 767 to move the EEC (Electronic Engine Control) switches farther from the fuel cutoff switches because of this incident. It's still hard to see how he did it since the EEC switches were little pushbuttons and the cutoff switches large toggles which had to be lifted up over a detent before they could be moved.

In another incident, we had both engines get cut off when a clipboard which had been left on the dash fell and hit the switches. That was one of several incidents which led me to suggest, half seriously, that our response should be a placard on the cockpit door reading "Caution -- do not allow idiots to fly this aircraft."

Donnie B.
2010-Jun-01, 12:01 PM
LaurelHS, I don't think there's a clear-cut answer to your question. There's no real dichotomy involved -- it's perfectly valid to say that both statements are true. He was unlucky to be on both near-tragic flights, and lucky they both turned out well.

Of course, you could take the question a bit deeper -- what is "luck", anyway? In my opinion, it's just a word that refers to random events that happen to turn out well for us (or poorly, in the case of bad luck). But many people seem to find a supernatural aspect in such coincidences -- hence such expressions as "my lucky day", "lucky star", and icons like four-leaf clovers and rabbits' feet.

Strange
2010-Jun-01, 12:37 PM
Reminds me of some research I read about, regarding what makes people feel that they have good or bad luck in their lives. It turned out to be all about attitude, not what actually happened.

They presented people with a nunber of scenarios and asked them whether they thought they were lucky or unlucky. For example, you are in the bank when an armed robbery takes place: "unlucky" person says "oh no, just my luck for it to happen when I am in the bank"; extend the scenario to getting shot in the leg: "lucky" person says, "wow, that was lucky, I could have been killed".

Swift
2010-Jun-01, 03:42 PM
Reminds me of some research I read about, regarding what makes people feel that they have good or bad luck in their lives. It turned out to be all about attitude, not what actually happened.

They presented people with a nunber of scenarios and asked them whether they thought they were lucky or unlucky. For example, you are in the bank when an armed robbery takes place: "unlucky" person says "oh no, just my luck for it to happen when I am in the bank"; extend the scenario to getting shot in the leg: "lucky" person says, "wow, that was lucky, I could have been killed".
Along those lines, several years ago, a fellow I know had his house burn down. Many people told him how lucky he was to have his whole family get out safely. He said this was very true, but if he was really lucky, his house wouldn't have caught fire in the first place. ;)

danscope
2010-Jun-02, 06:21 PM
I met a guy who had his house blow up in a gas explosion, took his Wife and children. What monies he got from the settlement he took,
and bought a home on the beach in Nantucket. And yes.... a severe winter storm took the house and washed it into the sea.
Just terrible. Makes me glad I have so much, such as it is.
Best regards,
Dan

Donnie B.
2010-Jun-02, 10:28 PM
There once was a house in Nantucket...

You know the rest.

Strange
2010-Jun-02, 10:38 PM
Thomas Midgley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Midgley,_Jr.) has to count as one of the unluckiest people ever...