… are labels we use to categorize life events that deviate from the normal hum of status Q homeostasis of “neutral” as they don’t rock the boat.
We see life from our small narrow vantage point and, for the most part, the interconnected webs of events, causality, relatedness of factors and sheer amount of coincidences we cannot possible figure out in advance leaves us flabbergasted and we’re not privy to all the information on how this happened or what’s the next step. So, as living is far more layered than one time line or narrative we exist in, we jump to conclusions about relative fortunateness or disastrous effects too soon, and from a too small possibility space. It’s the old “one door closes another one opens” thing. It’s not necessary that the door opens just as previous closes, but it may very well be that the open door was here all the time and you were just too busy staring at your old door to notice or too comfortable to be bothered to change doors. It may be that other doors do not open at all but that, by pure necessity, you pry the door open with an iron bar of your personality, grit, work, connections, common sense… It may be you take a sledgehammer and create a hole in the wall or squeeze out of a window into a new world locked out of your old and familiar door. The old saying is incomplete and goes by our subjective perspective that an opportunity arises just as misfortune throws us out from wherever it is where the first door leads. It’s a bit anthropocentric this view that “things happen just for us” instead of that “things just happen”. Sometimes you’ll have more control over them, sometimes less, sometimes none. The second, third or tenth door may be better or worse or qualitatively the same as the first one, they may be worse at first and then staggeringly better if you wait it out, they may be no better at all or prove to be a catastrophe. Blessings and curses are not predefined and don’t exist as absolutes which are just that. They are what they are at that moment in time in that specific constellation of events, labelled as they happen and depending on our personality, mental state and wisdom. Yet, fortune and misfortune can swiftly dramatically change places in the strings of events that follow or as we widen the frame of reference.
So, do you know the farmer story? An old farmer had a horse he relied on every day to do difficult work in the field. One day this horse ran away. Neighbours pitied him as this was such “bad luck” but the farmer just said “Perhaps”. On the next day his horse returned, bringing three wild horses with him, and the neighbours exclaimed “Oh what luck!, and the farmer once again replied “Perhaps”. The following day the farmer’s son tried to tame the wild horses and one of them threw him off so the young man broke his leg. The neighbours said again “Oh that’s such bad luck!” and you already know what the farmer says. On the day after military officials came to the village and drafted all young men for a dangerous battle they were unlikely to return from, but the farmer’s son was spared because of his broken leg. The neighbour’s one again revelled in the farmer’s good luck and he just said… “Perhaps!”
Don’t get too cocky when things are going well, don’t pat yourself on the shoulder too much, celebrate but keep your eyes open as things can turn and transmute in a minute, flipping entirely. If things are bad don’t despair and lose hope, because change is the only constant and you have no idea what chess pieces are setting up for and what comes next, no idea what you’ll be better equipped to handle by having had this “misfortune”. Things are not just fixed polarities that stay in their boxes. Having some ups and downs just means you’re living, nothing else. Stay graceful, alert and don’t lose context out of sight through lucky and miserable circumstances alike. You cannot know the outcome until a thing is still in progress. You know it’s never over until the fat lady does her thing. Live, enjoy, take the hits, take the joys and be grateful for both.