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A solution can be found for any situation

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
Dec. 22, 2012 at 6:22 a.m.

Robert Jaklich

It has truly been an outstanding 2012 for the Victoria ISD. We are extremely excited about our future and the outstanding opportunities that await us in 2013. We must continue to dream and dream big!

As we continue to move forward and cultivate our "612 Square Miles of Excellence," we are reminded of a popular quote by the late, great, Coach John Wooden, "There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you."

The story of two pebbles reminds us just how important our choices can be.

"There was once a farmer in a small village who owed money to a very mean, nasty man. The farmer had a beautiful daughter who the lender was sweet on, so the lender proposed a deal. The lender said he would annul the debt if he could marry the farmer's daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified regarding this proposition. So the lender then suggested that chance should determine the outcome of the deal. The lender told the farmer and his daughter that he would put two pebbles, one black and one white, in an empty money bag. Without looking, the farmer's daughter would pick out one of the pebbles. If she picked the black pebble, she would have to marry the lender, but her father's debt would be eliminated. If she picked the white pebble, she would not have to marry the lender and her father's debt would be eliminated. If the farmer's daughter refused to pick a pebble, her father would go to jail. While speaking, the old lender leaned forward and picked up two pebbles. As he was picking them up, the farmer's daughter, with a sharp eye, noticed the lender picked up two black pebbles and placed them in the bag. But she said nothing. The lender then asked the daughter to pick a pebble out of the bag. The entire time this discussion was taking place on the road in front of the farmer's house and the road was paved solid with pebbles.

Imagine for an instant - what would you have done? What would you have suggested the daughter do?

If we analyze the situation, there are several possibilities. First, the daughter could refuse to pick a pebble, sending her father to jail. Second, the daughter could pick out both pebbles, proving the old lender had cheated. And third, the daughter could pick out one of the black pebbles, sacrificing herself to marry the lender but saving her father from imprisonment and vanishing the debt.

This story is meant to illustrate a point. The difference between logical thought and so-called lateral thought. The daughter's dilemma can't be resolved in an equitable manner using traditional logic. Here is what the daughter did:

She plunged her hand into the bag, picked a pebble, and clumsily dropped it to the ground. Before it could be determined whether the pebble she picked was black or white, it mixed in with all the other pebbles on the ground. "Oh my Gosh! I am so clumsy!" said the farmer's daughter. "But if I remove the other pebble from the bag, then we will know which pebble I picked first."

Since the second pebble was black, then the first pebble had to have been white. The lender did not dare announce his cheating; therefore the farmer's daughter transformed a seemingly impossible situation into an advantageous moment.

The moral of the story: A solution exists for all problems. We just need to examine every angle of every situation. On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire VISD, may your New Year be full of positive thoughts and wise decisions!

Happy Holidays!

Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website visd.com.

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