The Family Fortune

Years ago in Scotland, the Clark family had a dream. Clark and his wife worked and saved, making plans for their nine children and themselves to travel to the United States. It took years, but they finally saved enough money, acquired passports and made reservations for the entire family to take one of the finest new liners to the United States. Everyone was filled with tremendous anticipation about the new life that awaited them there.

However, seven days before their departure, the youngest son was bitten by a dog. The doctor sutured the wound but hung a yellow sheet on the Clarks’ front door– because of the possibility of rabies, they were being quarantined for fourteen days.

The family’s dreams were shattered. They would not be able to make the trip to America as they had planned. The father, forsaken and forlorn, walked to the dock to watch the ship leave. As it departed, he shed tears of disappointment and cursed both his son and God for their misfortune.

Five days later, however, tragic news spread throughout Scotland– the mighty Tittanic had sunk. The unsinkable ship had hit an iceberg and gone under, taking hundreds of lives with it. The Clark family was to have been on that ship, but because of the son’s misfortune, they were spared, and left behind in Scotland.

When Mr. Clark heard the news, he hugged his son, wept, and thanked him for saving the family. He then raised his head to the heavens, thanking the powers that be for disguising what had seemed the family’s greatest set-back as a life-saving turn of events. He made a vow, then and there, to forgo judging anything that happened to them from then on, as it was clear now that it was simply impossible to know.

Source: A Wisdom Pills Rendition of a traditional tale, as found on For more in this vein, see “The Wisdom of Maybe“.

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