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Are We There Yet? vol. 222 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 222

Some of you may have heard the Chinese parable about the farmer and his fate. The farmer has a series of events that happen in his life, and each time, his neighbors comment about his bad luck or good luck. His horse runs away (bad luck), the horse returns, followed by two wild horses (good luck), the wild horse throws his son and breaks his leg (bad luck), the army doesn’t take the son to war because of his injury (good luck), and so on and so on. For each event, the farmer responds to the neighbors, “Good luck, bad luck—who really knows?”  

Another proverb makes the same point. “Every cloud has a silver lining.” If I think back to all the good things in my life, and there are a lot of good things, many times I can trace back to some event that I perceived as negative ahead of the good thing that then occurred. As the farmer says, “Good luck, bad luck—who knows?” It’s all about our perspective, and luckily, we control our attitudes and perspectives.

In holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he states, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

It’s difficult to maintain that perspective when in the middle of a crisis, but it’s worth trying, as we can all avoid a lot of anxiety and stress if we can do it.

Take care and stay safe.


Wild Houses by Colin Barrett

As Ballina prepares for its biggest weekend of the year, introspective loner Dev answers his door on Friday night to find Doll English— younger brother of small-time local dealer Cillian English—bruised and in the clutches of Gabe and Sketch Ferdia, County Mayo’s fraternal enforcers and Dev’s cousins. Dev’s quiet homelife is upturned as he is quickly and unwillingly drawn headlong into the Ferdias' frenetic revenge plot against Cillian. Meanwhile, Doll’s girlfriend, seventeen-year-old Nicky, reeling from a fractious Friday and plagued by ghosts and tragedy of her own, sets out on a feverish mission to save Doll, even as she questions her future in Ballina.

Set against Barrett’s trademark depictions of small town Irish life, Wild Houses is thrillingly-told story of two outsiders striving to find themselves as their worlds collapse in chaos and violence.