Who’s Not Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

by Augusto Cuginotti

This was my final reflection on the Arab Educational Forum last year. It is a story of our automatic minds and therefore our bad judgements.


Who’s Not Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Once upon a time there was a man who lived and worked at his house. His old house was his world, his community and has been like that for the past four generations. Leave his own house was frequent, but not common: once or twice a month to go to the supermarket or to the library.

Recently the only visitors were outsiders trying to sell every possible news from where they come from. These sellers were pushing so hard that the only way to send them away was by throwing them a bucket full of cold water. The man was happy to discover that, but really upset with the need of this long procedure: answer the door, go back to the kitchen, complete the bucket with water and only then expel the unwanted visitor.

He realized that he was loosing time doing all this several times a day and he decided to create an automatic mechanism to solve his problem. After a little bit of work on building and testing, he had a perfect solution: now when someone rings the bell, automatically a bucket would turn cold water on the visitor. That process was working successfully and eventually the number of sellers started to decrease.

One day new neighbours coming from a different region moved to the same street. As part of their culture they were preparing a little party so everyone around could come and meet them at their new house. A nice and colorful invitation was prepared and distributed among the family members to deliver personally to every house on the street.

The daughter of the family was the one who had the task to deliver the invitation to the man’s old house. She arrived happy and rang the bell. She returned home wet and crying.