Monday, April 23, 2012

DESTINY LUCK FATE FORTUNE - Do You Believe in These Things?

A Teaching Story - THE OLD MAN AT THE FORT

Do you believe in things like destiny, luck, fate and fortune?

Then why don't you read Liehtse’s famous parable of The Old Man at the Fort :- 

An Old Man was living with his Son at an abandoned fort on the top of a hill, and one day he lost a horse. 

His fellow villagers came to express their sympathy for this misfortune.

But the Old Man asked them, “How do you say that this is a misfortune? The fact of the matter is that one horse is missing and there is one horse less in the stables. That is the fact. Whether it is good luck or bad luck – well that is a matter of judgment.”

A few days afterwards, the Old Man's horse returned with a number of wild horses.

The villagers came again to congratulate him on this stroke of fortune, and the Old Man replied, “How do you know this is good luck? The fact of the matter is that there are more horses in my stable than before. Whether it is good luck or bad luck – well that is a matter of opinion.”

With so many horses around, his young son began to take to riding in a big way. One day while riding a wild horse the Old Man's Son was thrown off and broke his leg and the accident made him lame in one leg. 

Again the neighbours came around to express their sympathy, and the Old Man replied, “How do you know this is bad luck?”

A few years later a great war broke out. 

All the able bodied men were forcibly conscripted into the army and sent to the warfront to fight in the war.

The war was so terrible that most of them were killed fighting in the war.

Because the Old Man’s son had a broken leg, he did not have to go to the war front and his life was saved.

Almost all the villagers had lost their sons in the war and were envious at the Old Man’s good fortune”.

But this time they did not say anything to the Old Man as they knew what his response would be. 

This parable drives home the lesson that there are no such things like good luck and bad luck.

What disturbs you are not events but your attitude towards them. Like in the story, sometimes what you think is
 “misfortune may be a precursor to “good fortune 

You must learn to distinguish between facts and your attitude towards those facts.

Destiny, Fate, Luck, Fortune - it is all in the mind.

Facts are the truth and are ground reality.

But the way you interpret those facts depends on your attitude which in turn is governed by your 
mental map” and accordingly you call it good luck or bad luck.

This mental map is formed due to your valuesbeliefs and experiences and you tend to view the actual facts or events (territory) through mental filters based on your values, beliefs, biasesprejudices and experiences which form your mental map. 

Remember, just like the actual physical geographical territory exists on the ground and its map is drawn on paper, actual facts and events happen in reality and each one of us interprets them depending on the different maps prevalent in our minds. 

Events, by themselves, don’t hurt you

It is your attitudes and responses (due to your mental maps) to those events that disturb you and give you trouble. 

It then becomes your paramount duty to introspect and continuously redesign your mental maps to develop the correct attitude and responses towards external events. 

When something happens the only thing in your power is your attitude towards it. 

We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them. 

The secret of inner calm resides within you. 

You just have to develop the proper mental “maps” and the correct attitude in your mind, so that you are not disturbed by the vicissitudes of external events which are akin to the outside “territory”. 

So the next time you think of things like destiny, fate, fortune or luck, remember the parable of THE OLD MAN AT THE FORT.

Wish you Good “Luck

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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1 comment:

Deepak S Avasare said...

One of my mentor used to say "There is nothing Right or Wrong, there is only outcome". It can be extended to say that "even with the outcome, there is nothing Right or Wrong, there is just another outcome".

Many a time based on the outcome, we decide if the previous decision / action / event was right or wrong.