It’s All a Matter of How You Look at Things
I heard the story told recently about a king in Africa who had a close friend he had known all his life. This friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.
Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!" To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and had his friend immediately sent to prison.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole, as it would be bad luck for the whole village. So they untied the king and sent him on his way.
As he returned home, he remembered the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the prison to speak with his friend. "You were right," he said. "It was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell his friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to prison for so long. It was horrible for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, "this is good!"
"What do you mean, ‘This is good?!’ How could it be good that I sent my lifelong friend to prison for a year?"
"If I had not been in prison … I would have been with you."