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THE PEBBLE STORY

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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & her father'sdebt would be forgiven.

If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him & 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'sfield. 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 & put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag. Now, imagine U were standing in the field.

What would U have done if U were the girl? If U had to advise her,what would U 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 & expose the money-lender as a cheat.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble & sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt & 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 & 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 U recommend to the Girl to do?

Well, what she did was :
The girl put her hand into the money bag & drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled & 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 U look into the bag for the one that is left, U 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. & 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 simple solution. It is only that we don't attempt to think.

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