A very old Chinese Taoist story describes a farmer in a poor country village. He was considered very well-to-do, because he owned a horse which he used for plowing and for transportation. One day his horse ran away. All his neighbors exclaimed how terrible this was, but the farmer simply said "Maybe."

A few days later the horse returned and brought two wild horses with it. The neighbors all rejoiced at his good fortune, but the farmer just said "Maybe."

The next day the farmer's son tried to ride one of the wild horses; the horse threw him and broke his leg. The neighbors all offered their sympathy for his misfortune, but the farmer again said, "Maybe."

The next week conscription officers came to the village to take young men for the army. They rejected the farmer's son because of his broken leg. When the neighbors told him how lucky he was, the farmer replied "Maybe."...

The meaning that any event has depends upon the "frame" in which we perceive it. When we change the frame, we change the meaning. Having two wild horses is a good thing until it is seen in the context of the son's broken leg. The broken leg seems to be bad in the context of peaceful village life; but in the context of conscription and war, it suddenly becomes good.

This is called reframing: changing the frame in which a person perceives events in order to change the meaning. When the meaning changes, the person's responses and behaviors also change.

Reframing is not new. Many fables and fairy tales include behaviors or events that change their meaning when the frames around them change. The different-looking chick seems to be an ugly duckling, but he turns out to be a swan-more beautiful than the ducks he has been comparing himself to.

-Reframing, Bandler and Grinder, Introduction

Hey, I resemble that remark about the ugly duckling! he he..

The cup is half FULL

Count blessings, not failings

There are ALWAYS people who would love to have your "problems"

Every problem is an opportunity

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Teo's presents: Givnology forums, tradigital music, Third Millennium Thinking, new media

When we appreciate our diversity we have abundance
Original Post
Thank you Teo,
For showing us both sides of a statement.


I didn't fail ten thousand times. I successfully eliminated, ten thousand times, materials and combinations which wouldn't work.
~Thomas Edison

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Thank you Teo.

I like this story. There is always more than one way to look at things.

Sue Cat2

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