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Week Three, February

Monday pep talk

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There’s a Taoist story you’ve no doubt heard before. It’s about a poor farmer who had just one horse to work 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.

The farmer just shrugged and said, "Maybe."

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. Now the neighbours were excited by his sudden good fortune. "How wonderful," they said. 

"Maybe," said the farmer.

The following day, the farmer’s son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy. “What a terrible thing to happen,” they said. 

"Maybe," said the farmer.

A few days later, 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 again congratulated the farmer on his unbelievable good fortune.

"Maybe," …. 

The point of parables like this one are for you to derive your own meaning from them, so I’ll just leave that with you as an example of what I’m talking about in our pep talk this week.

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  • Reflecting on something particularly difficult and challenging you’ve experienced recently, what can you be grateful for?
  • What have you gained from life’s most painful experiences?
  • What possibilities open up for you when you choose to be grateful for everything?
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