Family Tradition


Dietrich Fischer – TRANSCEND Media Service

A daughter observed her mother prepare a Christmas ham. Before she put it in a pot in the oven, she cut off a piece on the left and right and threw them into the garbage. The daughter asked her mother why she did this. “My mother has always done it that way,” was her reply.

They were curious and went to see Grandma and asked her why she always cut off a piece of ham on the left and right before putting it in the oven. Her reply was the same, “Because my mother has always done it that way.”

Great-Grandma, over 90, was still alive in a retirement home. They visited her and asked her, “Why did you always cut off a piece of ham on the left and right before putting it in the oven?” She explained, “Because my pot was too small!”

We often follow traditions, even if they are no longer appropriate, having forgotten why.


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. Fischer was a MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security at Princeton University 1986-88, 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 29 Jun 2020.

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