This Is Good
The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend
with whom he grew up. The 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 proceeded to send his friend to jail.
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 who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent
him on his way.
As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken
his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend.
He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.
“You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown
off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just
happened. “And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for
so long. It was bad 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 friend to jail for a year?”
“If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you.”