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When I get time, I listen to music, or read books. If any is left, I blog!

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Think Your Way Out

A money lender who used to give credit to a neighbourhood trader, approached him one day: ''It's time you repay. However, knowing your hardship, I am prepared to forego the loans, if only you'd let me marry your daughter.”  The trader and his daughter were aghast.  After much thought, the daughter came up with a plan.  From a box containing a black and a white pebble, the lender must pick one without looking.  If it is black, she would marry him, and he would write off the debt.  If it is white, he would give up both.  The lender stipulated that he would pick up the pebbles, while she could make the final choice.  On the agreed day, at the riverbank, the lender collected two pebbles, deftly both black dropping them into the bag in a trice.  The trader's daughter who saw this vowed herself: ''I will not let him cheat me.''  And she did not.

How* she outfoxed her opponent is a defining example of 'Lateral Thinking'.  Edward de Bono, the architect of this unique method which The Sunday Times of London called "the biggest craze since Scrabble", wrote over 80 books including the bestseller “Six Thinking Hats”.  In a challenging situation, it encouraged one to imagine wearing six different hats, and think like six different guys!   In the process, the obvious step-by-step logical approach (which De Bono called 'Vertical Thinking') was skipped to let the mind transcend usual thought patterns and perceived restrictions, until reaching an innovative outcome no one ever thought about.

Edward de Bono, even as he propagated dynamic thinking concepts and tools, produced a documentary film “2040” where he envisioned a cryogenic freeze to build a future society.  He also compiled a Code Book of communication to integrate linguistic multiplicities.  But what caught everyone by surprise was his 'out of the box' theory about low Zinc level in the food consumed, was fuelling conflicts in the middle east.

With De Bono's demise on 9 June 2021, the world lost an original thinker who inspired, encouraged, and enabled us to think differently, and strive to enrich our planet and lives.
*Think laterally to find out how!   

 The mind can only see what it is prepared to see.
- Edward de Bono 


  1. Prabhakar. P10:02 pm

    "Vertical thinking" and "Lateral thinking"!

    Both are necessary in equal measure, because they compliment each other, guaranteeing positive results. Unfortunately, in these days the very ability to think in a normal way is missing in most of us. We simply take things as they come without any serious thoughts.

    I hope this post reminds us to think actively and analytically before we blindly accept all that comes by.

    May Edward de Bono show us the way.

    1. You are right Prabhakar. If we ask ourselves, "Have we stopped to think?", the answer in most cases would be "yes". A tragedy that keeps disturbing our lives.

      Thanks for your comments. Hope to see you here again

  2. Cyril Mathew10:14 pm

    Change of subject! Change of style! The message however was clear.

    You made me google Edward De Bono and his books. The effort to know more about this unique Lateral Thinking theory was really worth.

    Hope to read such enlightening posts Rajuda. Regards

    1. Both changes are not related, Cyril. Just wanted to try out a different style - longer sentences instead of the short ones I usually write. Maybe, de Bono's momentary influence on me to think laterally!

      Thanks Cyril. Please drop in again.

  3. What language. I understood the concept after you explained to me. The ending of the story - she could have dropped the pebble on the ground and as the pebble in the bag was black, it can be assumed that she picked the white one.

    1. Spot on!
      Welcome to the dwindling community of Thinkers!
      A problem always has a hidden solution. You only need to 'Think Laterally' to discover it.
      Thanks Asha

  4. Thank you for introducing me to Edward de Bono.....
    Though, I have failed to understand most of his theories but most relevant and interesting statement is "Give me my point of view and I will give you your point of view". If the meaning is understood properly then hopefully most of the differences can be attended & solved. Therefore, peace & happiness can be restored.
    Please keep enlightening with many more such articles.

  5. To understand de Bono, 'Think Laterally', not literally!
    His therories are relevant and interesting as you rightly said, at the same time intellectually stimulating and excitingly creative.

    Thanks Partho for your thoughtful input.

  6. Roy Pallikkal9:27 am

    I too am a fan of de Bono and his Lateral thinking concept. Thanks for remembering him and reminding us of his invaluable contributions.

    I hope you will write about such icons. It is enlightening to read them. Thanks Rajuda

    1. Thanks Roy. I shall try to do my best.
      Please visit again.

  7. Anonymous12:15 pm

    Bro, can you post more such topics. We youngsters would welcome it.
    Thanks and regards

  8. Sure, bro. I shall.
    Thanks. Hope to see you soon.