Edward De Bono opened his 1993 text Water Logic, with an account of a boy, Johnny, in a school yard setting in Australia. An adult confided to Johnny that his friends were laughing at him behind his back, as every day he was approached by several of them and offered the choice of one of two coins, one large, one small, with the larger one of lesser value. Johnny routinely selected the larger coin. When asked by the adult if he knew his selection was earning him ridicule, he replied, "yes, I know, but how many times would they offer me the choice if I selected the smaller coin each time?"
Edward DeBono's notion of "water logic," implies thinking beyond the immediate "this," as in the coin selection or any decision or action, and routinely asking "What will "this" lead to?" and "Where did "this" come from?"
A week ago, President Barack Obama hosted China's Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to follow Hu Jintao as President of China in 2013. As trade talks filled their day together, Jinping offered a Chinese proverb to his hosts,
When drinking the water, don't forget to remember those who dug the well
Call it water well logic, call it team work, call it appreciation for the open system in which one lives, that working together fills our lives, even though blind spots may cause wise men and mad men to draw lines and a seemingly root cause to emerge; to single out someone to blame, should a touchdown pass be dropped, or someone to honor, perhaps with an Academy Award.
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