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Good ? Bad ? Who Knows ? King Finger


Ajahn Brahm went on to give us a "King and His Doctor" story to explain that sometimes, bad things that happened in our lives can be a blessing in disguise.

In old India, there lived a King who loves hunting. One day, he went hunting with his great Doctor. While hunting, the King was pricked by a strange plant on his middle finger. The finger became swollen and painful. The doctor applied a special ointment to the wound and bandage the King's finger.

The King then asked, "Will my finger be alright?"

The Doctor answered, "Good ? Bad ? Who knows ?"

A few days passed and the King's finger became worse. He summoned the doctor and asked, "Will my finger be alright?"

The Doctor answered, "Good ? Bad ? Who knows ?"

A few days later, the King's finger was badly infected and has to be amputated from his hand. The King was furious and ordered the doctor to be jailed and hang in a month's time.


Meanwhile, after a week's of recovery, the King went hunting again. This time he was more unfortunate. He was capture by a cannibal tribe. Before the tribe can burn him as a human sacrifice, the priest noticed he had only nine fingers. It was the tribe's believe that only a person with full and perfect body can be use as sacrifice. So they released the King.

Back to the Kingdom, the King immediately ordered the release of the doctor. The doctor was summoned to the King. The King said: "Great doctor, because of you, I lost my finger but in turn, it saves my life."

The Doctor said, "Good ? Bad ? I know. Great King, if not because of you putting me in jail and thus I cannot go hunting with you. If not, I would have been captured by the tribe and used as the sacrifice. Thank you, you save my life !"

So...Good ? Bad ? Who Knows ?. According to Ajahn Brahm, tragedy itself is an opportunity that teaches us to become kinder and wiser. Unpleasant things happen in life and they happen to everyone. The only difference between a happy person and one who gets depressed is how they respond to disasters.

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