Lateral thinking...I do this sometimes.
How about you?
Date: 1/21/2006 10:36:41 AM ( 10 y ) ... viewed 746 times
Sent in the mail,
Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the
misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the village
moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied
the farmer's beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said
he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter.
Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.
So the cunning moneylender suggested that they let providence
decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble
and a white pebble into an empty moneybag. Then the girl would
have to pick one pebble from the bag.
1. If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and
her father's debt would be forgiven.
2. If she picked the white pebble, she need not marry him and her
father's debt would still be forgiven.
3. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown
Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer's field, the
moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them
up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black
pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a
pebble from the bag.
Now, imagine that you were standing in the field that day. What
have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what
have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the
bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order
save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
Take a moment to ponder over this story. Experts use it to make
people appreciate the difference between lateral and logical
thinking. The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional
logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chose any of the
above logical choices.
What would you recommend to the girl do? Well, here is what she
She put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble.
Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-
strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other
pebbles. "Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you
look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell
which pebble I picked."
Since the remaining pebble was black, they had to assume that
she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared
not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an
impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems do have a
solution, which you can find if you stretch your mind. If logic isn't
working, try lateral thinking. Lateral thinking is a creative exercise.
Practice every day.
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