“Misfortune may be an actual blessing.”
Near China's northern borders lived an old man well versed in the practices of Taoism. His horse, for no reason at all, got into the territory of the northern tribes. Everyone commiserated with him. "Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said the old man.
After a few months, his animal came back, leading a fine horse from the north. Everyone congratulated him. "Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a cause of misfortune." said the old man.
Since he was well-off and kept good horses, his son became fond of riding and eventually fell off the horse and broke his thigh bone.
Everyone commiserated with him. "Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said the old man.
One year later, the northern tribes started an invasion of the border regions. All non-disabled young men took up arms and fought against the invaders, and as a result, nine out of ten men died around the border. The old man's son did not join in the war because he was crippled, and they both survived.
Blessing into misfortune, and misfortune into a blessing, its pattern is unfathomable.