There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who
had worked his crops for many years. One day his
horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors
came to visit. "Such bad luck," they
said sympathetically. "May be," the
farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned,
bringing with it three other wild horses. "How
wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed. "May
be," replied the old man. The following day,
his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses,
was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again
came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
"May be," answered the farmer. The day
after, military officials came to the village
to draft young men into the army. Seeing that
the son's leg was broken, they passed him by.
The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how
well things had turned out. "May be,"
said the farmer.