There once was a very poor man living in a village who had a very fine horse. So fine, in fact, that the lord of the castle wanted to buy it but the old man always refused.
“To me this horse is not merely an animal. He’s a friend. How could I sell you my friend?”
One morning he went to the stable and found his horse gone. All the villagers said, “We told you! You should have sold your horse. Now he’s been stolen instead. What terrible luck.”
“Bad luck or good luck,” the old man said. “Who can say?”
Everyone laughed at him but 15 days later the horse returned, followed by a whole herd of wild horses. He had escaped from the stable, courted a young mare and returned with the rest of the herd following behind!
“What luck!” the villagers cried.
The old man and his son began training the wild horses but a week later the man’s son broke his leg trying to train one of the horses.
“Bad luck,” said his friends. “What are you going to do now without your son to help you? You who are already so poor.”
“Bad luck, good luck, who can say?” the old man replied. A few days later an army belonging to the lord of the land passed through the village and forced all the young men to become soldiers. All…… except the old man’s son because of his broken leg.
“How lucky you are,” the villagers cried. “All our children gone to war, but you’ve been able to keep your son. Our sons will probably be killed…”
The old man replied, “Bad luck, good luck… who can say?”
People ask me why I love the Chorkor Trotro TV series on TV3 in Ghana. I always tell them I learn from the awkward situations and not only from the best of situations. On the front of the Chorkor Trotro bus in the TV series is written “Let them say.” Let them say speaks volumes.
One day I will blog about that but what it simply means is that, let the people talk all they want but do your own talking. Never be misguided or misled or discouraged by what people say about you. The best way is to prove them wrong. Who can say? I bet no one. There are just three things I would like to talk about from the story…..not to bore you.
#1 What people say about you should not affect you negatively
I was at the airport yesterday and engaged myself in a conversation with a lady. She had come to wait for a friend who was coming to Ghana from Italy in a very beautiful dress. As we started talking I said something about friends that made her speak as if she was on drugs. She was talking like one controlled by a remote. Eddie Murphy could not have even spoken faster than her. She was coming from a wedding with the same dress. This lady buys clothes from a woman (Shop 1) in her neighborhood but a friend of hers advised her to buy from a different shop (Shop 2) because that shop had exotic clothes.
She listened and spent her savings on the new dress from the Shop 2. She went to the wedding and realized that she was the “lady gaga” of the event. Everyone including the couple had dressed in a simple but awesome way. She was telling me how her friend’s words made her lose money and also made her a laughing jackal at the wedding. If you listen to people all the time, you are bound for disgrace.
#2 Be who you are!
The man never changed who he was. He was a poor man…yes… but he knew who he was. He didn’t change because of what people said to him. He did not even sell his horse to the lord of the land. He valued the horse. We must value our integrity. Dignity is something thrown to the dogs lately. People don all sorts of things because of money. People sell their bodies, kill other human beings because of money but this man knew what it was to value something.
We have two ears. One is to listen and the other is to let the negative you hear out. All the negative things he heard entered in one ear and out in the other. He was not ready to be a different person. He was not ready to be ungrateful. He was still the man he used be. He carved a niche for himself as the man who was ever grateful. Bad luck or good luck….he was grateful.
#3 Don’t let circumstances change you!
I always say “this too shall pass” when I go through a difficult period. I have lived with this maxim for a long time. When I go through a bad phase of my life, I know it will surely end. No condition is permanent. When you are hungry, don’t kill yourself because eventually you will get food to eat.
When you are satisfied, don’t fool about because eventually you will go hungry.
Life is all about ups and downs. We just have to make an effort to stand the test of time. The poor man never made any circumstance change his belief. He believed in the fact that bad luck or good luck isn’t his to say. Even when his favorite horse left, it didn’t change him. When the son got hurt, it didn’t change him as well.
The future comes to us in bits and pieces. We never know what lies in store for us but if you always maintain a positive attitude the doors of chance remain open, and you will be a happier person.
Who can say? No one can say so don’t lose hope. Live by the Chorkor Trotro mantra.