There was once a good man, a very good man. He was learned, very learned. He was pious, very pious. In everything he used to see good. Our tendency is to see bad in everything, but his way of life was to see everything good, good, good, good. Inside everything there is good. In everything there is gain. There is no such thing as loss — it is all gain. Inside each happening, each incident, there is something good and divine. This was the man’s way of looking at the world.
Many people were extremely jealous of this man’s good qualities. One man in particular was jealousy incarnate. He used to hate the good man because he had so many admirers and adorers. The good man also had enemies, but his admirers, adorers and lovers were infinitely more in number than his adversaries.
Eventually this man, who was very good in every sense of the term, became old. Age descended upon him, and he lost his eyesight. Day and night he would spend his time praying to God.
One day, the good man’s worst enemy, the jealous man, came to see him. Inwardly he was so happy to see the good man in such poor condition. Mockingly he said to the good man, “I am awfully sorry that you have lost your eyesight! But, O great philosopher, professor, you used to say that everything is for your good. Now you are blind. Is this also for your good? What kind of gain do you get from this loss? You have lost your eyesight! Answer me!”
The good man replied, “Either I can pray to God to give you the answer, or God has already given you the answer!”
The jealous man exclaimed, “Do not bring God into the picture! It is between you and me. Tell me, what gain do you get from the loss of your eyesight?”
The good man said, “Can you not see that because I have no eyesight, because I have no vision, today I am so fortunate that I do not have to see your face? You are so undivine. Because God is so kind to me, He does not want me to see you. That is why He has taken away my vision!”
A few months later, again the bad fellow came to visit the good man and said, “You are so old. You cannot move around. You cannot see anything. What good is it that you have become so old that you cannot see, you cannot move around, you cannot even walk? How can you say that everything is for your good? Does it make any sense?”
The good man replied, “Yes, everything is for my good. Here is the proof: it is you who are coming here to see me. I did not have to go to your place. Because I cannot walk now, it is you who are coming and touching my feet. Because I am lame, you are compelled to come to me. True, you are not coming with a good motive — you have come here to make fun of me. But you were compelled to come here because your jealousy forced you. As for me, I did not have to go to you. My goodwill, my kindness, my way of prayers did not have to go to see you!”