Creative Promptitude

The question that occupied my mind recently is if technology has weakened our promptitude. We depend on technology to detect crimes, for example. Centuries ago, technology was sparse. People depended on creative promptitude to identify criminals and respond to seemingly embarrassing questions and situations.

This post shares two stories from ancient Arabs who had the promptitude to meet such challenges.

The first story deals with theft. Few people walked into the room of a judge. One man told the judge that few pieces of gold were missing from a merchant’s shop. All inquiries led to accusing the two-shackled men. One of them is the thief, but we failed to tell who the thief between them is.

The judge nodded his head for few seconds and then asked one man to get him a glass of water. The judge started to drink and wittingly let the cup fall to the ground and the glass shattered.

Eying the two men, the judge said that man is the thief. The man admitted after grilling that he was the thief.

How did you find out that he is the thief? One man asked the judge.

Let me tell you how, the judge responded. Thieves have cruel and stony hearts and do not get scared quickly. When I dropped, the glass and it broke into pieces the innocent man was shaking with fear. The thief kept his nerves and hardly reacted. This way I could identify the thief.

The second story is about getting out creatively out of a predicament.

An atheist challenged believers if they could meet his challenge that there is no God. The believers selected a man in whom they recognized his wittiness. They agreed on a time for a debate. The atheist came on time, but the believer did not show up. The atheist started mocking the believers that his challenger disappeared for knowing he is a loser. Finally, the man arrived and apologized for arriving late.

However, why did you arrive late? The atheist asked him. I came from the other side of the river, replied the believer. There was no boat available to cross the river. While waiting suddenly few boards of wood emerged floating in the river. To my surprise, the wooden boards assembled themselves in a boat that approached me where I was waiting. I took the boat and finally I am here. The atheist started laughing mockingly and yelling this man is crazy. How could the boards of wood assemble in a boat and move without somebody moving the boat? This man is crazy. The believer told him then why this universe assembled into such an organized manner without God assembling the pieces and moving them. If boards of wood cannot organize into a boat then how could it be possible for so many varied boards to assemble into such an organized universe without a creator? The stunned atheist left speechless.

No matter what advances the human beings make the power of mind shall prevail.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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    • You put a smile in my heart with your “smiling” comment, Cynthia

      Glad you found the two stories interesting.

      Have a great and smiling day

  1. I too am optimistic about the prevalence of the power of the mind.
    However, I cannot fail to consider that we are at a crucial junction in technological evolution. The change will become exponential, inevitable and irreversible. We need to address this issue and decide to what extent we will allow technology to shape our lives. We need to act with greater foresight, with a far more holistic vision and a much firmer management capacity as we unleash technologies that could have infinitely greater power over us than we imagine. We can no longer adopt wait-and-see behavior if we want to keep control of our destiny and the developments that could shape it. Rather, we must pay as much attention to what it means to be or to remain human in the future (that is, to what defines us as human beings) as we dedicate to the development of those technologies whose power will change humanity.

    • Great comment dear Aldo.

      Yes, technology is expanding exponentially. Can we meet its effect linearly? If we do we shall be left behind. The exponential growth of technology is mind-boggling and this may confuse our minds and restricting them from acting properly.

      Your call for alertness on this issue should receive maximum attention.