Somewhere in Central Europe in the XVI Century there was an artisan who became famous in his region because of the bricks he built.
When visitors asked him what he was doing, he always responded with the same word: bricks.
The bricks he built had different shapes and were made with different materials. Among others there were flat, hollow, concave, convex and triangular bricks. When somebody asked why he built them in different shapes, he just looked up and smiled. Just a whisper could be heard back: rigidity and flexibility.
Astonishingly, on the place he worked there were only the bricks he had prepared during that day.
Day after day, the same work. Every morning there was no stock left. It seemed as if the bricks had disappeared over night.
He had a secret young admirer who spent hours trying to learn from him. When the young apprentice asked: why?, the answer was always the same: rigidity and flexibility.
Although he became old he was still enthusiastic building bricks.
But suddenly he disappeared. As he was an icon in the region, people began to look for him until they abandoned the effort, considering that he had probable passed away.
Years later, his young admirer had become a famous architect known because of the solidity of his constructions.
What is your secret? was the question everyone posed to the architect.
The bricks, was his answer, and people inevitable laughed.
He always smiled back as an answer and continued his way.
One day there was a terrible earthquake in the region. All the constructions but the buildings of the architect were damaged.
When the reconstruction began people said that they needed to learn from this architect to rebuild secure houses.
I agree, said one of the leaders in a group of neighbors, but it is said that there is a small town, across the Black River that suffered no damages at all, he emphasized.
Following the rumor, they decided to visit that town. A group of neighbors, including the architect, began to walk trying to find the town crossing the Black River. But in those days the Black River was considered a sacred place. Although the river was not deep, no one dared to cross it because it was said that the one who tried to cross it walking, would die in the attempt.
They had to find a natural bridge to cross the river. After several hours of walking, they found a bridge but it was not a natural one, it was hand made. It was a very narrow bridge but a very solid and flexible one. So they carefully began to cross it. The journey continued. Very soon they found a pathway and followed it. It drove them to the small nice town that was totally undamaged.
As soon as they approached the first buildings someone said that they were using the bricks developed by the architect.
They are not mine! responded the architect while he began to scratch his head.
This cannot be happening was the only thought he had in his mind.
The visitors were welcomed as soon as they approached the church.
Why did you have no damages produced by the earthquake? was the immediate question.
A neighbor of the town pointed his finger to a small house: Go there! he said.
And there they went.
As soon as the door was opened a very old man appeared.
Master!!! said the architect…How come?
Rigidity and flexibility was his only answer… And they embraced in a hug.
Question: what is a brick?
Riddles have many solutions. In the Far East, riddles are used to develop internal freedom and responsibility. Next week one of the answers will be published in this blog.
NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute is the major research organization in the world in its specialty based on more than 3,000 researches in complexity science applied to individual, institutional and social evolution.
If you would like to receive monthly information on this blog, please register here.