Friday, November 25, 2011

塞翁失马 Sai Weng lost his Horse


很久很久以前, 有一个名字叫塞翁的老人, 很有智慧。他住在北方的边境上,和儿子一起靠养马为生。

有一天, 他的一匹又壮又快的好马不知为什么跑掉了, 可能跑到邻国的山里去了。听到这个坏消息, 塞翁的朋友都觉得很可惜, 就来安慰他。 没想到, 塞翁一点儿也不难过。 他反而说,“丢了一匹马当然是一件坏事。但是, 谁知道呢? 也许这件事会给我带来好结果呢。”



就像塞翁期望的那样, 两个月后, 那匹丢失的马平平安安的回到了家, 而且还从邻国带回了一匹骏马。 他的朋友听说了这事都很羡慕他的运气这么好, 但是塞翁对这意外之财一点儿也不激动, 而是担心地说: “谁知道呢!也许这会给我们带来灾难呢。”

半年后, 塞翁的儿子果然在骑那匹骏马出去的时候,从马上摔了下来, 把一条腿摔断了。 塞翁的邻居和朋友听说了这事, 又来安慰他。 面对这场灾难, 塞翁仍然很平静, 他对那些来看他的好心人重复他那句话说:“谁知道呢!这也许会给我们带来好运呢。”

尽管塞翁的朋友和邻居已经习惯了他的预言, 而且这些预言一般都不会有错,但是这一次,他们非常怀疑他说的话, 怎么也看不出,他的儿子残废了这个事实会带来什么好处。

但是不久, 塞翁的预言再次被证实了。 一年以后, 邻国的军队打过了边境, 所有健康的年轻人都被迫参军去当兵了,他们大多数人都在战场上战死了。 塞翁的儿子因为腿残废了没有去当兵, 因此, 他没有战死,继续平安地在家生活。

hen3jiu3 hen3jiu3 yi3qian2, you3 yi1ge4 ming2zi4 jiao4 sai4weng1 de lao3ren2, hen3you3 zhi4hui4. ta1 zhu4 zai4 bei3fang1 de bian1jing4 shang4,    he2   er2zi   yi1qi3   kao4  yang3ma3  wei2sheng1.
you3  yi4tian1,  ta2de   yi4pi1  you4zhuang4you4kuai4de   hao3ma3    bu4zhi1   wei4shen2me   pao3diao4le,  ke3neng2  pao3dao4   lin2guo2de   shan1li3  qu4le.   ting1dao4   zhe4ge4  huai4xiao1xi,   sai4weng1de   peng2you   dou1  jue2de   hen3 ke3xi1,  jiu4lai2  an1wei4  ta1.  mei2xiang3dao4,   sai4weng1  yi1dian3er   ye3 bu4   nan2guo4.   ta1  fan3er2   shuo1: "diu1le   yi1pi1ma3   dang1ran2   shi4   yi1jian4    huai4shi4.   dan4shi4,   shei2   zhi1dao4ne?   ye3xu3    zhe4jian4shi4    hui4   gei3 wo3   dai4lai2   hao3   jie1guo3 ne."
jiu4  xiang4   sai4weng1   qi1wang4de   na4yang4,   liang3ge4yue4  hou4,   na4  pi1 diu1shi1de ma3  ping2ping2an1an1de  hui2dao4le  jia1, er2qie3   hai2 cong2 ling2guo2  dai4hui2le  yi4pi1  jun4ma3.

ta1de  peng2you3  ting1shuo1le   zhe4shi4   dou1hen3   xian4mu4   ta1de  yun4qi4   zhe4mehao3,   dan4shi4    sai4weng1  dui4   zhe4  yi4wai4 zhi1cai2   yi1dian3er   ye3   bu4  ji1dong4,  er2shi4   dan1xin1de  shuo1: "shei2  zhi1dao4ne?  ye3xue3   zhe4  hui4  gei3   wo3men   dai4lai2   zai1nan4ne."

ban4nian2hou4,  sai4weng1de   er2zi   guo3ran2  zai4   qi2  na4pi1ma3   chu1qu4  deshi2hou,   cong2 ma3shang4   shuai1le   xia4lai2,  ba3  yi1tiao2tui3   shuai1duan4le.   sai4weng1de   ling2ju1  he2  peng2you3   ting1shuo1le  zhe4shi4,   you4   lai2   an1wei4   ta1.  mian4dui4  zhe4chang3   zai1nan4,   sai4weng1   reng2ran2   hen3  ping2jing4,  ta1  dui4   na4xie1   lai2 kan4ta1 de   hao3xin1ren2   chong2fu4  ta1de na4ju4hua4  shuo1: "shei2  zhi1dao4ne?   ye3xu3   zhe4  hui4  gei3  wo3men   dai4lai2  hao3yun4 ne."

jin4guan3   sai4weng1de  peng2you  he2  ling2ju1  yi3jing1   xi2guan4le   ta1de  yu4yan2,   er2qie3   zhe4xie1   yu4yan2   yi4ban1  dou1  bu2hui4  you3cuo4,   dan4shi4   zhe4yi1ci4,   ta1men   fei1chang2   huai2yi2   ta1shuo1de  hua4,  zen3me  ye3  kan4bu4chu1,  ta1de   er2zi   can2fei4le   zhe4ge4  shi4shi2   hui4  dai4lai2  shen2me   hao3chu4.

dan4shi4  bu4jiu3,   sai4weng1de  yu4yan2   zai4ci4  bei4   zheng4shi2le.   yi4nian2   yi3hou4,  ling2guo2de  jun1dui4  da3guo4le   bian1jing4,  suo3you3   jian4kang1de   nian2qing1ren2   dou1  bei4po4   can1jun1  qu4   dang1bing1le,  ta1men   da4duo1shu4  ren2   dou1  zai4   zhan4chang3shang4   zhan4si3le.   sai4weng1de  er2zi   yin1wei4   tui3  can2fei4le   mei2you3   qu4   dang1bing1,   yin1ci3,   ta1  mei2you3   zhan4si3,  ji4xu4  ping2an1de   zai4jia1   sheng1huo2.
Translation:

Long long time ago, there was an old man called Sai Weng, who had great wisdom. He lived at the border of the state, and made a living with his son by raising horses.
One day, one of his strong and fast horses got lost for some reason. Maybe it  ran into the neighboring country. Hearing of this bad news, Sai Weng's friends felt sorry and came to comfort him. But to their surprise, Sai Weng was not bothered at all . On the contraray, he said, "losing a horse, of course, is a bad thing, but who knows! It perhaps will bring me good results."
Just as he had expected, a couple of months later, the missing horse returned home safely, and also brought back with it a fine horse from the neighboring country.
Everyone who learned of this admired his good fortune. But the old man was totally insensible to the windfall, and said with worry, "Who knows! This may bring disaster to us !"
Sure enough, half a year later, Sai Weng's son fell from the horse and broke his leg while riding the fine horse out. His friends and neighbors heard of it and came again to comfort him, but he was still very calm in the face of the accident and repeated his pet phrase to these kind people who visited him , "Who knows! This may bring us good fortune after all!" 
Although his friends and neighbors were used to his predictions and knew most of them had been proved to be correct, they highly doubted it this time, because they just could not see anything good  that might be brought by the fact that his son was disabled.
However, soon the prophecy of the old man was fulfilled again. A year later, when the neighboring country sent troops across the border, all the healthy young men were forced  to enroll in the army.  Most of them died in the battlefield. The old man's son was not drafted because he was crippled. Thus, he didn't die in the battle, and continued to live safely at home.

Comment:

This story is actually a sample used to illustrate the basic principle of Taoism: "Misfortune, that is where happiness depends; happiness, that is where misfortune underlies".
Moral of the story: There's no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our everyday lives. Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise. And when our hearts are in the right place, all events and circumstances are gifts that we can learn valuable lessons from.

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