As a young boy growing up in the suburbs, I always heard a story about a small African city, hundreds of years ago, there was a small business owner who owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner’s daughter so he decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. However, the catch was that he would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the businessman’s daughter. Needless to say, this proposal was met with a look of disgust because he was quite ugly.
The loan-shark told the businessman that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black, he’s daughter would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped, but the loan-shark would then marry her and If it is white, the debt would also be wiped, but the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan-shark.
Standing on a pebble strewn path in the businessman’s garden, the loan-shark bent over and sneakily picked up two black pebbles. Whilst he was picking them up, the daughter noticed that he’d picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag. He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one.
The daughter naturally had three choices as to what she could have done:
1, Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag.
2, Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating.
3, Pick a pebble from the bag fully aware it was black and sacrifice herself for her father’s freedom.
So she drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles. She then said to the loan-shark;
“Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”
The pebble left in the bag was obviously black, and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s debt.
You see’ It’s always possible to overcome a tough situation through out of the box thinking, and not having to give in to the only options you think you have to pick from. However, i am not trying to promote rebellion but you don’t always have to conform to societal norms, be you and be smart.