赛翁失马

赛翁失马是一个典故成语。

《淮南子》中有一个寓言:塞上老翁失马,人们来吊慰,老翁说‘安知非福’。那匹马带了一匹骏马回来,人们来道贺,老翁说:‘安知非祸’。老翁的儿子骑这匹骏马,却从马上摔下来受了伤,人们来安慰他,老翁又说‘安知非福’。后来胡兵入侵,塞上的壮丁都起来作战,大部分的人战死了,只有老翁的儿子独因腿瘸未参加。后人多引此寓言作为祸福难定的。

 

This is story behind the well-known saying: 赛翁失马,焉知非福也 

It was lifted from a book of parables.

The old man living on the plains lost a horse. His neighbours came to comfort him about his loss. The old man said: who knows, it may be a blessing. Sure enough, the ‘lost’ horse came home, with another horse – a thoroughbred. His neighbours came to congratulate him. The old man said: for all you know, it may be a misfortune. One day, the old man’s only son rode on the newly acquired horse, fell from it and broke his leg. Again, his neighbours came to comfort him. The old man said:  maybe, this is a blessing. There was a war and the army came to conscript young men for it. The old man’s son was let off because of his broken leg. And this saved his life.

Life is a series of ups and downs. One never knows until the end.  Whether one has gained or lost. But this also depends on how you view your ‘achievements’. The wise old man knows. Fret not, when one thing is lost – for you may gain another. Rejoice not, when one thing is gained – for everything has a price. But I guess the point is – always look on the bright side of life.   

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