Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Andrew W. McElroy Is a Writer who is Exploring the world through stories and lenses.

Good or Bad, Hard to Say. | TED Talk

Good or Bad, Hard to Say. | TED Talk

This Third Thursday TED is going to look slightly different than old ones and the next ones. I think this one mixes up elements of both Six Minute Sunday's and TED. I hope you enjoy and reap the lesson that lies in both.

Heather Lanier starts off this TED talk with an ancient parable from the Early Han period in China. To listen to the original parable, watch the Ted below. However, I decided to rewrite it to modernize the parable and give a new light to the parable.

There's an parable about an old man who had his car stolen. And neighbors came over to say, "Oh, that's too bad." And the man said, "Good or bad, hard to say." Days later, as the man walked down the street to the store he was given a ride by a rich man, the rich man bought all the old man's groceries and wrote a check for the his rent. And neighbors come over to say, "Oh, that's so good!" And the old man just shrugs and says, "Good or bad, hard to say." The next day, the man's son was in a car wreck going to pick up the rent check for his father, and he broke his leg. And the neighbors say, "Oh, that's terrible luck." And the old man says, "Good or bad, hard to say." Eventually, officers come knocking on people's doors, looking for men who robbed a bank the day after the car wreck ,and they see the old man's son and his leg and they pass him by even though he fit the description of the criminals. And neighbors say, "Ooh, that's great luck!" And the old man says, "Good or bad, hard to say."

As I have gone through this past year, my family has had "bad" thing after "bad" thing. I am a rather optimistic and never quite fell into the trap of saying everything was shit. But, after each thing, my optimism wore thin. My heart sank into the badness of 2017. I hated this year. It was only appropriate that right before the end of 2017. I heard this TED talk and parable. I thought to myself, "Has my year been Good or Bad? It's hard to say." 

Through the countless bad things, we were given so many good things. However, in the midst of the muck, we could only see the bad. The fact that we lost some of our role models, family, and friends. Yet, the legacy they left on our life was abundantly good.

Through my mother's heart attack, we were upset and angry about the badness of her pain and sickness. Yet, she is healthy and back to 100%. She spent a summer on her back porch, her favorite spot in the world. She healed with family and friends and the Creator by her side. 

Through the death of a close friend, I was devastated that such a young, vibrant, and beautiful life was cut short at 18. Yet, his legacy on my life would be one of grand memories and optimism for a better world.

Through all the bad things of this year, the good was there too. Sometimes, the good can lead to bad and the bad can lead to good, yet if we label our lives as one or the other than we will never have the good. 

So next time you find your self struggling through a bad time, remember this parable and say, "Good or Bad, Hard to Say."

Here is the TED Talk by Heather Lanier.

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