A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help me.” There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.
That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”
The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” What he had written was: “Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.”
Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing?
Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply told people to help by putting some money in the hat. The second sign told people that they were able to enjoy the beauty of the day, but the boy could not enjoy it because he was blind.
The first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?
There are at least two lessons we can learn from this simple story.
Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently.