An ancient Persian poet recorded the fable of a King who challenged his sages to get him something that would make him both happy when he was sad and sad when he was happy. The wise men consulted with one another, and finally came up with a quote:
this too, shall pass
The King was so impressed by the quote that he had it inscribed on a ring. (the article continues after the ad)
Of course, the proverb, which is still used today, means that all conditions, whether good or bad, are transient. Because of this realization that both ‘best and worst of times’ will soon pass, it has the ability to make the happy person sad and the sad person happy.
The quote was popularized in the early 1850s by the English poet Edward Fitzgerald and was later used by Abraham Lincoln in his address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in 1859.