Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day Eleven - Maybe so, maybe not.

Once upon a time, there was a wise old man who the village trusted. A villager visited the wise old man and said, "My bull died. It is the worse thing that has ever happened to me." The wise old man said, "Maybe so, maybe not". The villager thought the wise old man was crazy. The next day he found a horse lying across the plains, and he tamed it to his advantage. The horse was much more efficient than the bull. He went to the wise old man and said, "You were right! This was surely the best thing that ever happened to me!" The wise old man replied once again, "Maybe so, maybe not". The next day, his son broke his leg riding the horse. Once again, he went to the wise old man, "This is surely the WORST thing that ever happened," exclaimed the villager. The wise old man replied once more, "Maybe so, maybe not". The villager thought he was SURELY insane. The next day, all the sons of the village were forced to join the military except the injured son......... And so goes the story.
I read this story for the first time when we lived in Alabama somewhere around 1998 or 1999. At the time, I thought it was a very interesting story and thought it had a good message. Things aren't always as they appear. It is all a matter of perspective. I didn't know then how the story would apply to my life, but I am now seeing a little better picture of that. Last night I shared a story about a big barbecue on the beach with a bunch of Japanese men. I mentioned that one of my friends was "fortunate" enough to get us a bottle of whiskey. I don't remember how old I was. I could have been twelve or thirteen. I had never had alcohol before in my life. I really didn't know what would happen if I drank it. Needless to say, even a little bit for a first timer would cause problems. And boy, did it. I really got sick along with several other girls in the group.

Jack got really mad. And that really was a little weird, because he didn't usually get mad at us for doing things we weren't supposed to do. He was the "cool" teacher, right? Well, that night he was mad. I couldn't figure it out. One thing I don't think I have mentioned is that every time we went to Miyake, other than the school sponsored trips, Jack was usually the only adult around. It was just Jack and the kids. Don't you think that would be a red flag? It baffles me to this day that so many adults knew the nature of the camp and the adult child ratio but nobody did anything. At least not that I'm aware.
Anyway, years later someone shared with me their thoughts about the situation at the barbecue. I have not verified this and won't ever be able to so please take it for what it's worth. This person said that the plan was for the Japanese men to have an opportunity to be with young American girls. That night I thought I would die I felt so bad from too much whiskey. At the time, it seemed to be the worst thing that could have ever happened to me.

Maybe so. Maybe not.

© Copyright 2009 Janet Calcote Simmons All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. I love this story Maybe So, Maybe Not. While not exactly the same I think about peoples' lives around me. Some are very wealthy, but so unhappy in their marriage and family. Some are not financially well off, working two jobs but very happy with wonderful children. Some have a beautiful farm, great job but cannot find a mater to save their souls. It's funny how life is.