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 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 money bag. Then
the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black
pebble, she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If
she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would
still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be
thrown into jail.
All the villagers
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 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
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 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
can not 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?
Here is THE ANSWER to what she actually did.