It Is All for the Best: A Lesson in Optimism


Dietrich Fischer – TRANSCEND Media Service

A king went hunting with his adviser but lost his thumb in an unfortunate accident. His adviser told him, “It is all for the best.” The king was furious, and as soon as they arrived at the palace he put his adviser in jail.

A month later, the king went hunting alone and entered deeper and deeper into the forest. Suddenly, he was surrounded by a group of men from a primitive tribe who seized him and wanted to sacrifice him to their god. But when they saw that his thumb was missing, they let him go; they did not want to sacrifice an imperfect man fearing the god would be angry.

So the king was able to return home to his palace. He immediately freed his adviser and told him that he had been right after all. He profusely apologized saying, “I should never have thrown you in jail.”

The adviser said, “It was all for the best.”

“How come?” the king asked.

The adviser explained, “Because otherwise they would have sacrificed me!”


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 20 Mar 2017.

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