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Creative thinking
By Stuart Kerner

The teacher had given a lesson about creative thinking. Afterwards his students came to him and asked him to set them a problem that required them to think creatively.

The teacher thought about this for a moment before giving each of them a sieve and instructing them to fill it up with water from the sea. The students all made their way down to the water and were gone for some time. Finally the teacher went down to the sea himself to see what was going on, and found his young disciples all sitting miserably around their sieves.

They jumped to their feet when they saw him.

‘This task is completely impossible, master,’ said one of the students. ‘It is simply beyond anyone’s ability to fill a sieve up with water.’

‘Oh really?’ said the teacher, grabbing one of the sieves.

‘Sometimes we must step back and view the problem from a different perspective.’

He paddled into the sea and hurled the sieve far out into the water. It instantly sank.

‘There!’ said the teacher. ‘It’s full of water now.’

Sometimes the answer to our problems is staring us in the face; we just need to step back.


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