Thinking matters.


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.

Most complex problems do have a solution. It is  only that we don’t Attempt to  think.


Some interesting books on Lateral and Logical Thinking on Amazon:

Some interesting books on Lateral and Logical Thinking on Flipkart:



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