Joseph comes up to the Cotonou border on his bicycle. He’s got twolarge bags over his shoulders.
The customs official stops him and says, “What’s in the bags?”
“Garri,” answered Joseph.
The Customs official says, “We’ll just see about that. Get off thebike!” the Customs official takes the bags and rips them apart; he empties themout and finds nothing in them but garri.
He detains Joseph overnight and has the garri analyzed, only to discoverthat there is nothing but pure garri in the bags.
The customs official releases Joseph, puts the garri into new bags,lifts them onto the man’s shoulders, and lets him cross the border.
A week later, the same thing happens. The customs official asks, “Whathave you got?” “Garri,” Joseph answers.
The customs official does his thorough examination and discovers thatthe bags contain nothing but garri. He gives the garri back to Joseph, andJoseph crosses the border on his bicycle.
This sequence of events was repeated every day for the next threeyears. Finally, Joseph doesn’t show up one day and the customs official meetshim in a beer parlour in Cotonou.
“Hey, my friend,” says the customs official, “I know you are smugglingsomething. It’s driving me crazy. It’s all I think about….I can’t sleep. Justbetween you and me, what are you smuggling?”
Joseph sips his beer and says, “Bicycles”!
You would agree with me that this is very funny. (Or maybe you don’t.)But while I’m laughing I can’t help but think.
One, we must learn to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. The customs officialshould have known after a while that it is not garri that Joseph was smuggling.And also that contraband does not always have to be in containers. Joseph usedon him what we call a smokescreen, and he didn’t see through it.
Two, LOOK BEYOND THE OBVIOUS. Whatappears is not always what is. Plain and simple!
Three, WE MUST NOT JUST THINK THROUGH BUT THINK FAST.
So, while we laugh, let’s think. YOU WILL SUCCEED!