Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Anecdotes: Qualities and Examples

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog []
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, [] 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday

Lesson: We are all storytellers. Everyday we love telling, and listening to stories. Stories come in anecdotes, fables, parables, folklore, humorous quips, and simply short accounts of an experience or about the surroundings. But how good are we in this art of story telling? Our aim is to hone this talent and to express it well.
Jose Rizal and the moth. He wrote My Last Farewell with the symbol of the moth which singed into the flame – martyrdom. Abraham Lincoln, Father of American Anecdotes.(See Anecdotes of Lincoln in this Blog)

Ernest Hemingway, novelist and short storyteller, Nobel Prize awardee. Guy de Maupassant, French short story writer. His works are wide read in school in different languages. Camilo Osias books were extensively used in the elementary schools during the Commonwealth and Post Commonwealth Period.
Story telling is an art. Strive for the “state-of-the-art of story telling”

It is characterized by

• Witticism
• Humor
• Inspirational, positivism
• Informative and educational
It is a combination of these elements that make a good story, depending on the topics and application.


• As a speaker/ resource person
• Presiding in meetings and conferences
• Informal gatherings /parties
• Writing, news, features
• Broadcasting – radio and TV

Stories are used as tool in

• Driving a point indirectly, diplomatically
• Hitting the nail on the head, so to speak
• Friendly advice and reminder
• Admiration of a person, institution or place
• Tapping a shoulder in words, kudos, congratulations

A good story / anecdote is never

• Moralism (Even a homily should strive not to proselytizing
• Criticism, esp. on persons
• Bulgarism – kind words, discreet, dignified
• Familiarism – not all too familiar topics
• Fatalism – bato bato sa langit syndrome
• Propagandism – like politicizing

Selected Anecdotes of the Great

Christopher Columbus waited for seven long years for the King of Spain to decide on his plan to search a new land West. King of Portugal refused to help him. Henry the VII refused.  Charles VIII of France also refused. All hopes gone … then the queen of Spain through Juan Perez her chaplain, sent money to buy clothes and hose, to see the Queen Queen Isabella received Columbus. Condition to be promoted to Admiral and entitled one-tenth of all the wealth, He was refused. A messenger overtook him. And Columbus once more went to the Court . Got the nod of the King and Queen but actually cost them nothing. Port of Palos under displeasure for unpaid taxes and liable of heavy fines. Palos was ordered to provide Columbus his needs. Three ships and men from the town. Came the Pinzon brothers provided Pinta, Nia and Santa Maria.

Magnetic North – is not the true north, and its direction varies from different places on the earth’s surface. But Columbus told the worried crew that it’s not the compass that is wrong but the north star which moved from time to time. And the sailors were satisfied – and they headed into the unknown. It took five long weeks to see land. West Indies (Columbus believed it was part of India) part of Cuba.

David Livingstone – After 4 and 1/2 years no news about him, thought to have been dead, a young man by the name of Stanley was sent by an American newspaper. There at Ujiji, he found Livingstone. Stanley took off his hat.

“Dr, Livingstone, I suppose?”

“Yes,” he said with a kind smile, lifting his cap slightly and shook hands. It was one of the most famous meetings in history.

David and Goliath the boy. Everyday for 6 weeks Goliath was challenging the Israelites to a duel. David arrived carrying food for the soldiers. David was not afraid and said, “Who does this great boaster think he is?” His brothers scolded him. But Saul the king heard him. David offered to fight Goliath.

"But you are not even a soldier."

"Back home I took care of my father’s sheep... fought lions, bears. I chased and killed them."

"But put your armor first." It was too big and heavy. David took his staff and sling, picked five smooth stones from a stream, and walked confidently to meet Goliath.

It was Goliath's last laugh of his life.

Florence Nightingale – In the night hours, sometimes long after midnight, Florence used to walk through the quiet wards to see that all was well, carrying a little lamp to light her way.

Such was her love for her patients. And soldiers loved, even the rough soldiers, used to kiss her shadow as she passed. Thus she was called The Lady with the Lamp.

She received the highest award from Queen Victoria – a diamond brooch with “Crimea, Blessed are the merciful” engraved on it. ~

Napoleon Bonaparte took the crown from the hands of the Pope and he crowned himself as Emperor of France Dec 2, 1804 church of Notre Dame. He owed the crown to no one except himself. His mother shook her head and murmured, “If only it lasts.”

After a series of victories, even after the battle of Trafalgar (combined Spanish and French fleet defeated by Nelson), he tried to govern all of Europe.

He met his defeat at Waterloo in the hands of the Duke of Ellinton. Today, Waterloo is the inevitable downfall of a person.

Joan of Arc did not use her sword. She led the attack on New Orleans with shining armor and banner, and rallied the French forces. On seeing her army, the English soldiers were terrified - The Maid, The Maid! Believing in witchcraft, they fled headlong.

Wounded by an arrow in the shoulder at Tourelles after New Orleans, the French soldiers retreated, until she reappeared. And the French won.~

NOTE: These anecdotes were purposely contracted as outline for speech or similar presentation. The reason is to discourage reading before the audience, and allows spontaneity and flexibility in telling the story.

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