What is this?
Hi folks, this is so simple all you need is a glass bowl, some water colours with brushes and a glass of water. Just these are my tools to explain so many things about life and one’s personality! What? Some of you may grab the idea, some may be guessing how and even a few may find me crazy! Well I mostly walk in to my workshops with this “Waterbowl Colouring“.
Back on my mind
My mind wanders so curious on a look out for crazy ideas for my workshops. Soon I end up in finding something so common we do in our daily life but miss to grab some perspectives to learn from it. Especially when it comes to orienting students on the Visionary thinking, Social Responsibility and Teamwork, I typically use this “Waterbowl Colouring” which will be amusing for the participants to do. And my one way of doing is that I puzzle their mind to think on own and let them try to predict what was it all about! Later I disclose the hidden concepts and perspectives behind this activity.
Get into action
Let’s assume you and your friends are participating in the workshop. All the stuffs like water in the bowl and colours with brushes would be kept on a table before you arrive.
Just before I start talking anything about the workshop I would ask you to come forward one by one, pick your favourite colour from the available colours(Hint A) and let a drop in the bowl of water.
Till everyone completes their turn this would happen and everyone would pick their favourite colours(Hint B) and add a drop in the same bowl.
So what will be in your mind? “Guesses” Yes guesses, you will keep guessing about various perspectives, what might be the hidden thing in this? Why we are asked to do so? The reason could be this or that?
This is what exactly I intended to happen in your minds.
Well I wont reveal any information about the colouring you have done and begin my introduction to the workshop.
At this stage definitely I will be asked a question from the group “Why you have asked us to colour the water?”(Hint C)
My answer would be “It’s Suspense!, I will reveal it later”🙂 I will take you on the routine Icebreakers / intro kind of activities.
Here comes the decision making on when to reveal the Waterbowl colouring secret, it’s up to the trainers at any point of time in the workshop.
The Secret revealed
The first thing I would reveal to all is the basic facts behind the Waterbowl colouring. They are as follows
1. You all individually knew that what colour you have dropped in the water. But you may or may not aware of what the person next to you added.
2. Definitely you do no know what every one of them added.
3. You cannot know what the final colour of water will be until every one completes their turn, what if there are an infinite number of participants?
4. Your options are limited as per the Hint A as I have kept only a few available colours
5. Blue might be your favourite and it may not be there so you have no choice but to choose one among the available colours which you prefer next to blue. This is hint B.
6. The natural curiosity of your thinking starts there. I have never communicated anything, but you were already actively involved in the activity. Even if you are an inactive participant you will have a little curiosity about it.
7. It is no rocket science. Just a simple act of adding a drop of color so there won’t be any hesitation to do. You are at ease.
8. As per hint C you have questioned me beyond a point as I was not talking about or doing what I supposed to do, that is to explain why the Waterbowl painting was done You were giving voice for it then.
Breaking down further
Now you might have got hints of what is the intended hidden messages can be. Just wait, here is where I may differ. I just use this Waterbowl colouring as an Orientation exercise.
After this point I will customize the entire concept according to the respective Theme / Purpose of the workshop.
For instance let us say the theme is Social Responsibility. Here are my inferences
1. I would say the water as any social issue concerned with us.
2. Say the drops of colours we added are our any contribution to the problems. It may be the solutions to the problems (ex. green) / further contributing to the problems side (ex.red) / a catalyst for solving process (ex.blue) / another new different problem(ex.black) [This is just for example I have associated respective four colours with solution, problem, catalyst and new problem, there can be more probabilities and associations possible, for ex White – Not contributing)
GREEN – SOLUTION / RED – FURTHER CONTRIBUTION /
BLUE – SOLUTION CATALYST / BLACK – NEW PROBLEM
3. Everybody has a role to play and has their part in the final output colour of the water. In real life we deny various social responsibilities, our actions in life may harm the society but we remain novice about it. But we all contributed something, whether we accept it or not, understand or not our contributions goes always. Sensible people knew what colour they added to the problem and its effects in detail. Common people just knew what they do as individual, ie what colour they added and have less idea to understand the bigger picture of the social problems, ie. how it led to the formation of a new colour etc.
4. Say Green(ex.valuing women) is the right solution for the problem(ex.Crime against women), we all need to be greens or majority need to be green in order to have a solution for the crimes against women. but our individual value systems vary same as taste on colours. So we are not unitedly working on the solution but sticking on to our individual differences.
5. Say Black(ex.bribing) is the further contribution to the problem(ex.corruption), Green is the solution (not bribing). If we want a corruption free nation (a Green solution) majority of the people should opt not to bribe (Green colour). But we put forward our selfish benefit first and go for black. We think I am the only person dropping one drop of black colour and presume that nobody will identify. Wake up dear citizen, the water had been already black and many of us thought like this and did our part of bribing more than enough. Green is less visible, that means everyone needs to bear the poor black economy and live. Cleaning has become hectic now! Taking the money in Swiss accounts is like taking the complete water to some other glass so we suffer money inflation here.
6. Say Blue(ex.education) is the catalyst for getting a quicker solution for any problem. Education enables the people to choose the right colours for the right problem, but the blue is not available/ accessible to all in a same standard! Blue has become so costly thing to get every day. Education is commercialized so the entire process or recovery has been slowed down. Nations focusing on education are becoming less corrupt and more civilized. We are are not even providing the right education methods for the youth.
“Education is the universal Cure for all the problems! But the cure itself is infected”
7. When it comes to social problems we are not coming out to talk like you questioned earlier “why I did this Waterbowl colouring?” It is obvious and cyclic, we blame the social problems again as a reason for not asking our own rights. We have been doing this complaining for decades.
8. The reality of social problems is complex than rocket science, if we see the picture whole. Why because in reality we are not adding colours to a pure water like a clean society, already it has various colours and contributions, mostly black and red. We are just adding our part to it. But if we can split every issue separately and focus on what we add to it, we can easily solve these puzzles too.
9. Natural curiosity is missing in many us when it comes to social issues. We are comfortable with “not to think” about the society. Just like we added some colours, who cares why we added or what we added! We no longer care to foresee what kind of nation we are going to leave for the next generation. The colours we add are going to remain however. Say if we add more green (solution to problems) it will be easy for the next generation with a less toxic society. But we are adding more of black (problems to problems) that is our mistake now.
10. Lack of awareness is the huge issue. We need to believe and understand that one man cannot solve all the problems, he/she has the limitations. But every single one of us has a definite part to play in it. Only if a majority of us contributes in a positive direction, we can expect positive future. Again I am bringing this point! We have to leave a better world for the next generation. It is our collective responsibility. Hope we all do it.
ADD MORE GREEN. THINK SOLUTIONS. QUICKEN THE PACE. WE CAN HAVE A BEAUTIFUL SOCIETY IN THE NOW
This is how I would have taken the inferences for a Social Responsibility workshop. The same can be rethought and cross processed for any other theme like teamwork, leadership, personality, problem solving, etc. All it takes is creativity and broader sensible thinking to relate the concepts to the maximum appropriation. The stage remains the same, we can act any play on it.
Hope you found the Waterbowl colouring methodology as a useful tool to orient anyone effective and detailed. It works for almost any age category especially students. You can try this in your workshops if you are a trainer, but I just have an obligation that please come back and share your experience with me. Because I had spent a lot of time in crafting this concept and arrive at this stage, putting my years of experience into it.
Please let me know your opinion about this Waterbowl colouring and feel free to consult me for any further discussion or ideas to customize it to your intended purpose. I will do my best. I too can enhance my thinking if you can come forward with more suggestions as comments / mail me : firstname.lastname@example.org
– Words by Din
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