PEBBLES OF FORTUNE

Blog Entry Stories : PEBBLES OF FORTUNE Jan 29, ’09 12:21 PM
by Ann for everyone

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune
of owing a large sum of money to a 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 money-lender 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 money bag.  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
into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field. As
they talked, 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. What would you have
done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you
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 money-lender as a cheat.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order
to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.  Take a moment to
ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it
will make us 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 chooses the above
logical answers.

What would you recommend to the Girl to do?

Well, here is what she did ….  The girl 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 is black, it must be assumed that she had
picked the white one. And since the money-lender 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. It is only that we don’t
attempt to think.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s