An exercise in lateral thinking

As my family and I prepare to once again take part in this ancient and powerful tradition [Passover Seder], I am hopeful that we can draw upon the best in ourselves to find the promise in the days that lie ahead, meet the challenges that will come, and continuing the hard work of repairing the world.”                                       

” Isn’t this the country where, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles”?

For even as we are clear-eyed about the difficulty, we will never lose sight of the vision of an Israel at peace with its neighbours. Palestinians deserve a future of hope — that their rights will be respected, that tomorrow will be better than today and that they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity. Put simply, Palestinians deserve a state of their own.”

Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see…”

Sometimes, the greatest miracle is recognizing that the world can change. After all, that is a lesson that the world learned from the Jewish people.”  


It hardly goes without saying that these are lofty aims and the soaring rhetoric that often accompanies them enhances their appeal still further.

But, for such worthy motives to have any effect, a substantial degree of lasting stability must first be imparted to the general situation. Once this is accomplished, then these sentiments – and many more like them –  become free to thrive and achieve their full potential.

However, provision for so crucial a medium has never materialised in the past and every attempt at creating this type of climate has come to naught. Even so, it must be understood that the entire Israeli/Palestinian conflict will never admit of long-term peace unless background levels of volatility and uncertainty sink way below their present intensity.

But, if we are all content simply to wait out the normal course of events, hoping for some unlikely epiphany to visit the region, the chances of that happening are very slim to nil.  Armageddon itself will probably put in an appearance long before such a condition prevails.

Then isn’t it time a more pro-active stance was taken, a willingness to direct the future rather than let it wander aimlessly towards an ever darkening horizon? Jews, it may be said, have lost out for millennia in the tangled web of human history. In some respects, that condition still holds true today. Maybe, after so long an interval, it would be nice, just for once, to feel what it’s like to be a winner.

Winners think laterally; so much so that even the mind of God must work that way. The thoughts of men, however, progress mostly in a linear fashion, often far too slow and predictable for quick and successful outcomes.

That really has to change if certain problems are ever to be resolved with some semblance of originality, dignity  – and not a little satisfaction.

In one fell swoop, an age-old conflict is ended; other conflicts take their cue from this and wind down accordingly, never to start up again. Financial markets, in a fair degree of turmoil at the moment, strengthen and stabilise as a result and prospects for a global renaissance improve to the point of inevitability.

And, in demonstrating that one war and, by extension, all wars can now be resolved peacefully and with absolute finality, Israelis and Palestinians both get to repair the world and become a light unto the nations.

So, it seems we must look for alternatives in this matter.

And that’s all lateral thinking really is; searching for answers other than those of long custom or locked-in mindsets.

Sometimes it really is necessary to think like a God.

So think laterally; it can make all the difference.


About the Author
Engineer, Virgo - now retired having worked 30 years in the field of medical diagnostic imaging for a major German multinational. Based in UK .