Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing the moneylender a large sum of money. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain.
He said “I will forgo your debt, if I marry your daughter”. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender’s wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.
They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the merchant’s garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles. “Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”
Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. The moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty and the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an advantageous one. There is no impossibility anywhere except ignorance.
Seemingly complex problems do have solutions; one simply has to think about them in a different way. Just as a lion can never eat grass no matter the economy of the jungle. It always finds a way to kill its prey, so also must UNN graduates possess the possibility mentality.
But what do we see today?
Many of our graduates are turning out to be unskilled, unemployed and underemployed. They are ill-prepared and ill-equipped for life in our modern economy. An increasing number of them is becoming prone to manipulation – willing tools and ready-made thugs as they enlist into militias and nefarious gangs. Yet, the wealth in their heads is more than the oil in our lands! There is something in them that need expression. There is therefore great and urgent need to stir up the spirit of creativity within them. That is what YFRC is out to achieve. Join hands with us!