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Metaphors for NLP & Teaching

48. Good or Bad?

Many years ago a wise peasant lived in China. He had a son who was the gleam in his eyes and a white stallion which was his favorite belonging. One day his horse escaped from his grounds and disappeared into the fields outside the village. The villagers came to him one by one and announced their condolences. They said, ""You are such an unlucky man. It is so bad."" The peasant answered, ""Who knows. Maybe it's bad, maybe it's good."" The populous left. The next day the stallion returned followed by twelve wild horses. The same people returned and told our wise man about how lucky he was. ""It's so good."" He replied once more, ""Who knows. Maybe it's good, maybe it's bad."" As it happens, the next day his one and only son was attempting to break in one of the wild horses when the horse fell down and broke his leg. Once more everyone came to condole him. They said, ""It's so bad."" Again he replied, """"Who knows. Maybe it's bad, maybe it's good."" Three days passed and his poor son was limping around the village with his broken leg, when the emperor's army entered the village announcing that a war was starting and they conscripted all the young men of the village. However, they left the son since he had a broken leg. Once more, everyone was so jealous of our man. They surrounded him talking about his shier luck. ""It is so good for you,"" they said. He answered all thus, """"Who knows. Maybe it's good, maybe it's bad.""
Main Uses: : The Map is not the Territory, There is no failure, only feedback
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Submitted By: Brian Cullen
Source: Sufi

Index of Metaphors

1 thought on “Metaphors for NLP & Teaching

  1. Sarah

    Hello Dr. Cullen,

    What a great list of metaphors! Thank you for creating this great resource for people to use freely. I was wondering if there would be any way to have each metaphor page set up with a link that says "printable version", or something similar, allowing for easy printing of a particular metaphor?

    Thanks again for setting this up. It is a really useful resource not only for me, but for my students as well.

    All the best to you,

    SJ Marubay

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