There's an awful lot of conversation today about the difficulties we're all having to understand what's going on with our economy. None of us really know how long this downturn is going to take or how severe it's going to be. The only thing we're certain of is that we need to all learn to think outside the box. We need to be creative, we need to be innovative, we need to find ways to tackle our problems and really think about what we can do to do better.

I was impressed with a story I heard a little while ago about an old man who lived alone in the country. He was worried about digging his tomato garden because it was such hard work and the ground was hard. His only son Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,

I'm really feeling bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me.


A few days later, he received a letter from his son:

Dear Dad,

Don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the bodies.


At 4:00 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son:

Dear Dad,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.

Let's all work hard at thinking outside the box, being creative and solving problems.