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Old 19.11.2004, 07:26   #1
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Lightbulb THE PEBBLE STORY

THE PEBBLE STORY

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune ofowing a large sum of money to a village moneylender.

The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's beautifuldaughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer'sdebt if he could marry his daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So thecunning 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 anempty 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'sdebt would be forgiven.

If she picked the white pebble she need not marryhim and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused topick 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 twoblack pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick apebble 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 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 andexpose the money-lender as a cheat.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order tosave her father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with thehope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral andlogical 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? ;;;;;;;

Well, what she did was :
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Withoutlooking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path whereit immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bagfor 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 pickedthe white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty,the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremelyadvantageous one.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems do have a solution. It is onlythat we don't attempt to think.

source -> outside world (c)
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Old 19.11.2004, 21:12   #2
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Or... keep always two (not one) feet behind...
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Old 20.11.2004, 00:30   #3
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I love this story and wow , for sure this girl was thinking right
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