Story
of two pebbles
classic photos of China
classic photos of China
In a small village, there was a farmer who owed a large sum of moneyIn a small village, there was a farmer who owed a larg...
The farmer had a very pretty daughterThe farmer had a very pretty daughter
that the old lender liked,that the old lender l...
He said he would cancel the debtHe said he would cancel the debt
if he could marry the farmer’s daughter.if he could marry...
Both the farmer and his daughter
were horrified by this proposal.
So, the old lender suggested that chance shouldSo, the old lender suggested that chance should
determine the outcome.deter...
He told the farmer he would put two pebbles,He told the farmer he would put two pebbles,
one black and one white, in an em...
The daughter would pick one of the two pebbles, without looking.
They agreed that the daughter must pick one pebble.They agreed that the daughter must pick one pebble.
If she refused, her...
If the pebble was black, the ugly old man’s proposal would win.If the pebble was black, the ugly old man’s proposal would ...
If it was white, the girl was free and her father’s debt would be cancelled.
The ugly old man thought, “I must make the daughter pick aThe ugly old man thought, “I must make the daughter pick a
black...
So he put two black pebbles in the money bag.
But the daughter noticed what he had done.
She said nothing.She said nothing.
The old lender asked the daughterThe old lender asked the daughter
to pick a pebble out of the bag.to pick a pebble out of...
They were all standing in the town road, which
was paved with pebbles, white and black.
If you were the daughter -- what would you do?
There seem to be just three possibilities:There seem to be just three possibilities:
1) The daughter refuses to pick a pebble and her father goes to jail.1) The daughter refuses to pick a pebble and her fath...
2) The daughter picks out both pebbles,
revealing the old lender cheated. And
probably causing a fight.
3) The daughter picks out a black pebble and sacrifices herself by3) The daughter picks out a black pebble and sacrifices ...
It seems that the daughter’s dilemma cannot be resolvedIt seems that the daughter’s dilemma cannot be resolved
in a fair a...
But all the clues to a peaceful solution are in the story so far. IfBut all the clues to a peaceful solution are in the st...
Here is what the young woman did:Here is what the young woman did:
She reached into the bag, picked one pebble,She reached into the bag, picked one pebble,
and clumsily dropped it.and clums...
It fell among the other black and white pebbles on the road.It fell among the other black and white pebbles on the road.
““Oh! I am so clumsy!” said the young woman.Oh! I am so clumsy!” said the young woman.
“But if I just take the other pebble from the bag ….
“We’ll know what color the first one was. If I pick white, the first
pebble was black; if I pick black, the first was whit...
“That’s fair, right?”
The old lender had to agree, because if he did not, everyone wouldThe old lender had to agree, because if he did not, ever...
So the young woman transformedSo the young woman transformed
a seemingly impossible situation.a seemingly impossible situa...
She picked the black pebble, butShe picked the black pebble, but
everyone knew the real choice waseveryone knew the real c...
A solution exists
for most problems.
We sometimes don’t examine every angle, and follow all
the possible conclusions.
The answer is often quite simple.The answer is often quite simple.
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A Story of Two Pebbles

  1. 1. Story of two pebbles classic photos of China classic photos of China
  2. 2. In a small village, there was a farmer who owed a large sum of moneyIn a small village, there was a farmer who owed a large sum of money to an ugly old man.to an ugly old man.
  3. 3. The farmer had a very pretty daughterThe farmer had a very pretty daughter that the old lender liked,that the old lender liked, and the lender proposed a deal:and the lender proposed a deal:
  4. 4. He said he would cancel the debtHe said he would cancel the debt if he could marry the farmer’s daughter.if he could marry the farmer’s daughter.
  5. 5. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by this proposal.
  6. 6. So, the old lender suggested that chance shouldSo, the old lender suggested that chance should determine the outcome.determine the outcome.
  7. 7. He told the farmer he would put two pebbles,He told the farmer he would put two pebbles, one black and one white, in an empty money bag,one black and one white, in an empty money bag,
  8. 8. The daughter would pick one of the two pebbles, without looking.
  9. 9. They agreed that the daughter must pick one pebble.They agreed that the daughter must pick one pebble. If she refused, her father woud go to jail.If she refused, her father woud go to jail.
  10. 10. If the pebble was black, the ugly old man’s proposal would win.If the pebble was black, the ugly old man’s proposal would win.
  11. 11. If it was white, the girl was free and her father’s debt would be cancelled.
  12. 12. The ugly old man thought, “I must make the daughter pick aThe ugly old man thought, “I must make the daughter pick a black pebble.”black pebble.”
  13. 13. So he put two black pebbles in the money bag. But the daughter noticed what he had done.
  14. 14. She said nothing.She said nothing.
  15. 15. The old lender asked the daughterThe old lender asked the daughter to pick a pebble out of the bag.to pick a pebble out of the bag.
  16. 16. They were all standing in the town road, which was paved with pebbles, white and black.
  17. 17. If you were the daughter -- what would you do?
  18. 18. There seem to be just three possibilities:There seem to be just three possibilities:
  19. 19. 1) The daughter refuses to pick a pebble and her father goes to jail.1) The daughter refuses to pick a pebble and her father goes to jail.
  20. 20. 2) The daughter picks out both pebbles, revealing the old lender cheated. And probably causing a fight.
  21. 21. 3) The daughter picks out a black pebble and sacrifices herself by3) The daughter picks out a black pebble and sacrifices herself by marrying the old man. She also saves her father from prison.marrying the old man. She also saves her father from prison.
  22. 22. It seems that the daughter’s dilemma cannot be resolvedIt seems that the daughter’s dilemma cannot be resolved in a fair and peaceful manner.in a fair and peaceful manner.
  23. 23. But all the clues to a peaceful solution are in the story so far. IfBut all the clues to a peaceful solution are in the story so far. If you are clever, like the farmer’s daughter, you may see theyou are clever, like the farmer’s daughter, you may see the solution.solution.
  24. 24. Here is what the young woman did:Here is what the young woman did:
  25. 25. She reached into the bag, picked one pebble,She reached into the bag, picked one pebble, and clumsily dropped it.and clumsily dropped it.
  26. 26. It fell among the other black and white pebbles on the road.It fell among the other black and white pebbles on the road.
  27. 27. ““Oh! I am so clumsy!” said the young woman.Oh! I am so clumsy!” said the young woman.
  28. 28. “But if I just take the other pebble from the bag ….
  29. 29. “We’ll know what color the first one was. If I pick white, the first pebble was black; if I pick black, the first was white.”
  30. 30. “That’s fair, right?”
  31. 31. The old lender had to agree, because if he did not, everyone wouldThe old lender had to agree, because if he did not, everyone would know he had been cheating...know he had been cheating...
  32. 32. So the young woman transformedSo the young woman transformed a seemingly impossible situation.a seemingly impossible situation.
  33. 33. She picked the black pebble, butShe picked the black pebble, but everyone knew the real choice waseveryone knew the real choice was white.white.
  34. 34. A solution exists for most problems.
  35. 35. We sometimes don’t examine every angle, and follow all the possible conclusions.
  36. 36. The answer is often quite simple.The answer is often quite simple.

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