Where Does the Chinese Idiom “blessing in disguise” Come From?

It’s natural that when you lose something you cherish you feel sad and when you get something you want you feel happy. But here is a man in history who is just the opposite. And from his story, people concluded that “塞翁失马焉知非福”(“ sài wēnɡ shī mǎ yān zhī fēi fú ”)( Blessing in Disguise) Below is the story and if you want to learn more Chinese idioms, you can learn Chinese online.

An old man in the State of War lived nearby the Great Wall. He raised many horses and one day he lost one horse. His neighbors heard this accident and came to comfort him. But he did not feel sad about losing a horse, on the contrary ,he told his neighbors not to take it to heart and said “losing a horse is nothing big, maybe it will bring me good luck.” His neighbors all felt him very strange. However, after a few days, the losing horse came back on him own and brought a fine horse with him. Neighbors all admire his foresight and good luck. But the old man wasn’t happy at all; he was worried that getting a fine horse would bring some bad luck. Neighbors thought he was just being crafty to behave like he was sad. The old man had an only son who liked riding horses very much. One day, he noticed this fine horse and he ridded it to travel around, but he was so excited and ridded so quick that he fell off the horse and broke a leg. His neighbor came to comfort him again, but he said “It is nothing big. Although he broke a leg, he is still alive .Maybe it is our lucky. ” Neighbors thought he was talking nonsense again and they can’t think out any lucky breaking a leg could bring in. Soon, the country was in war and young men were called to join the army, but since the old man’s son had broken a leg so he didn’t need to be a soldier. Most of the young men who joined the army were died on the battle field, and only the old man ‘son kept his life.

The story told us that good luck and bad luck are coexisted and they can transform themselves into each other. So we shouldn’t be too sad when misfortune came to us and shouldn’t be too excited and arrogant when we have good fortune. We should always think about the other side of one thing. And misfortune may be an actual blessing. Now, is the story and “塞翁失马焉知非福”(“ sài wēnɡ shī mǎ yān zhī fēi fú ”)known to you? You can learn Chinese grammar to get help in understanding the grammar in this idiom.

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