Most of you would have read ‘The Merchant of Venice”. The story says that the moneylenders, irrespective of the place where they belong to, have the habit of squeezing the last drop of blood from their debtors. Being poor and indebted is a crime according to many. However, one can tackle the toughest of situations with a great deal of tact. This is what Landmark Forum explains to people when they enroll for their courses. Let us look at a simple way of tackling the toughest of situations in life.
The reason why we brought up The Merchant of Venice analogy is because this story is also based somewhere in Italy. This is a similar situation where a businessman was unable to repay the amount he had borrower from a sly moneylender from an Italian province. He expressed his inability to pay stating that he suffered a loss and thus, asked for an extension.
The moneylender was unwilling to give the extension and insisted on immediate repayment. Hearing the commotion, the young daughter of the businessman came out of the room. She was a beautiful damsel. Immediately, the moneylender had wicked plans. He offered an alternative.
He started to lay the trap. He offered to place one black and one white pebble in his bag. The daughter has to pick up the white pebble to free her father of all his debts. In case, she picked the black pebble, she would have to marry the moneylender. This option also allowed the business man to walk out free from his debts. In a way, both the options ensured that the business man would not have to pay anything, but he was putting his daughter’s future at stake.
They offered to carry out the challenge in front of the sheriff. The man did not have any option but to agree. The moneylender was a crooked fellow. He slipped two black pebbles in his bag so that the poor girl should not get a chance. The daughter saw this happening. However, she had to counter the threat. She had three options before her.
One was to expose the moneylender before the sheriff. The second was to refuse to pick up the challenge thereby risking sending her father to jail. The third was to swallow the bitter pill and take up the challenge and face the inevitable.
She had a plan up her sleeve. She put her hands inside the moneylender’s bag and pretended to tremble while taking out the pebble thereby dropping it intentionally. Now, the money lender was infuriated. However, the girl was calm. She apologized to the sheriff for her mistake, but suggested that they can very well check the color of the pebble in his bag. This will determine the color that she had picked. Now, the moneylender was cornered. He had to let go of his debt and freed the man and his daughter.
The lesson you learn from this story is that every problem has a solution when you look at it differently. This is the subject of many a Landmark Forum review.