Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Challenge

Once,a poor farmer had the misfortune of owing a lot of money to a money lender.The money lender who was old,ugly and above all cunning , fancied the farmer's beautiful young daughter. So , he proposed that he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daugther. Both farmer and his daughter were horrified by this idea.

The money lender then suggested that they let the Providence decide the matter.He picked up two pebbles from the pebbles strewn-path on which they were standing and put them in his money bag.He asked the girl to pick up one pebble from the bag.
-> If she picked up white pebble,she need not marry the money lender and her father's debt would be forgiven.
-> If she picked up black pebble, her father's debt would be forgiven but she'll have to marry the money lender.
-> But if she refuses to pick any pebble, her father would be thrown into a jail.

However, just before he had hurriedly put the pebbles in his bag ,the sharp-eyed girl noticed that both the pebbles which he picked up were black.He then asked the girl to pick up a pebble from the bag.

Now,put yourself in her shoes.What would you have done if you were the girl? Three solutions may strike your mind:
-> Girl should refuse to pick up a pebble.
-> Girl should pick up a pebble.If it happens to be a black pebble,she would sacrifice herself to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
->Girl should show that both the pebbles in his bag were black and expose the money lender as a cheat.

The first two solutions ,though they appear to be logical,may be ruled out.The third solution might expose the cunningess of the money lender,make him face some minor punishnment,but would still not help his father's cause.What should be done,then???

Here's what the girl did:
She picked up a pebble and without looking at it ,she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble strewn path where it became lost among other pebbles."Oh,how clumsy of me!",she said."But if you look into the bag for the other pebble,you can tell which pebble I picked up."
Since,the remaining pebble is black,it must be assumed that she picked up white one.And since,the money lender dared not admit his dishonesty,the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely fruitful one.

This story helps us in appreciating the diference between lateral and logical thinking.Most problems we face in life do have a solution.It is how we approach them ,which matters.Keeping our nerves at calm in the times of peril can help in accomplishing any mammoth task.


chin said...

viewing life in a different perspective is indeed better. Cool blog. Hope to read some more of your inspiring stories^.^

chin said...

Oh...btw, I curious what Temet Nosce means. Can you please tell me?

neo said...

Temet Nosce= Know Thyself