Once upon a time, a farmer had a horse, until one day, his horse ran away. When his neighbors found out, they passed by, expressing their sympathy, saying, “such bad luck.” The farmer replied, “maybe.”

The following day, the horse returned with three wild horses. “Fantastic!” The neighbors said. The farmer replied, “maybe.”

The next morning, the farmer’s son rode one of the wild horses, fell off, and broke his leg. The neighbors passed by, offering once again their sympathy for the farmer’s misfortune. The farmer replied, “maybe.”

The following day, military officials passed by the farm to draft young men into the army. Given the farmer’s son’s broken leg, they passed right by him. The neighbors congratulated the farmer. The farmer replied, “maybe.”

For ancient Taoist farmers and modern-day business leaders alike, life will throw you curveballs. There are no two ways about it. You can fight against it or accept and make the best out of every situation.

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