A teacher teaching Maths to 7 year-old Arnab asked him,"If I give you one apple,one apple and one apple,how many apples will you have?" Within a few seconds Arnab replied confidently,"Four!"
The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). She was disappointed. "Maybe the child did not listen properly," she thought. She repeated,"Arnab, listen carefully. If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?"
Arnab had seen the disappointment on his teacher's face. He calculated again on his fingers. But within him he was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. His search for the answer was for the correct one, but one that will also make his teacher happy. This time hesitatingly he replied,"Four..."
The disappointment stayed on the teacher's face. She remembered that Arnab liked strawberries. She thought maybe he doesn't like apples and that is making him lose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked,"If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many will you have?"
Seeing the teacher happy, young Arnab calculated on his fingers again. There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile young Arnab enquired,"Three?"
The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained. Once again she asked him,"Now if I give you one apple, one apple and one apple how many will you have?"
Promptly Arnab replied,"Four!"
The teacher was aghast. "How Arnab, how?" she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice.
In a voice that was low and hesitating young Arnab replied,"Because I already have one apple in my bag."
When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expected, don't think they are wrong. There maybe an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion.
Lovely story from the book- Stories from here and there..