Let It Cool Down


Prof. Dietrich Fischer – TRANSCEND Media Service

dietrich fischer





A folktale from Uganda told by TRANSCEND member Stella Sabiiti.

A king had a beautiful daughter. Many men asked to marry her, but the king gave them a difficult test. They had to drink a jug full of boiling hot water. Many tried, but burnt their tongue and had to give up.

Finally a man smart as a rabbit came. As usual, the whole village came to watch whether he could pass the test. He went from one villager to the other, showed to each one the pitcher full of hot water and said,

“Look at all this hot water; I am going to drink this!”

By the time he had shown the jug to the last villager, the water had cooled down enough so that he could drink it without burning his tongue, and he could marry the princess.

Moral: If a conflict is too hot to handle, wait until tempers have cooled down.


Dietrich Fischer (1941-2015) from Münsingen, Switzerland, got a Licentiate in Mathematics from the University of Bern 1968 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University 1976. 1986-88 he was a MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security at Princeton University. He has taught mathematics, computer science, economics and peace studies at various universities and been a consultant to the United Nations. He was co-founder, with Johan Galtung, of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment in 1993.

Excerpted from Dietrich Fischer’s Stories to Inspire You – TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Nov 2016.

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