TED Conversations

Abhinandan Chatterjee

Senior Consultant - L&D, I Train Consultants (I) Pvt.Ltd

This conversation is closed.

Let's share 1 story everyday to change the world for good. Making storytelling a part of everyday life to create an emotional & moral balanc

I believe in the power of stories and that they can transform lives. Do you have a story that impacted or transformed your life in any way? Can it help even 1 more person out of the 8 billion on earth? If yes, let's share it.

We started a project called www.storyfication.com for it to be a platform for sharing such stories. Here is a story that changed my life - http://storyfication.com/2012/02/07/how-hard-can-life-be/

What is your story and how did it change your life. We need these for the greater good of people. Help today

Share:
  • W T 100+

    • +1
    Mar 29 2012: This story is told by Maya Angelou in her book "Letter to my Daughter"

    While in Morocco....she was invited to stoop down next to some older African men on the streets of Morocco. The story is long.....I will pick up the story at the point she wants to leave their presence......

    "Just as I prepared to stand and bow, a woman appeared with a miniature coffee cup in her hand. She offered it to me. As I took it, I noticed two things, bugs crawling on the ground, and the men approving of me by snapping their fingers. I bowed and took a sip of coffee and almost fainted. I had a cockroach on my tongue. I looked at the people's faces and I could not spit it out. My grandmother would have pushed away the grave's dirt and traveled by willpower to show me her face of abject disappointment. I could not bear that. I opened my throat and drank the cup dry. I counted four cockroaches.

    Standing, I bowed to everyone and walked out of the yard. I held a revulsion until I cleared the lot, then I grabbed the first wall and let the nausea have its way. I did not tell the story to anyone; I was simply sick for one month.

    When we performed in Marseilles I stayed in a cheap pensione. One morning I picked up a well-worn Reader's Digest and turned to an article called "African Tribes Traveling from the Sahel to North Africa"

    I learned that many tribes who follow the old routes from Mali, Chad, Niger.......and other Black African countries, crossing the Sahara en route to Mecca or Algeria or Morocco and the Sudan, carry little cash but live by the barter system. They swap goods for goods, but they will spend their scarce money to buy raisins. In order to honor and show respect to visitors, they will put three to five raisins into a small cup of coffee.

    There, they had chosen to honor me with those expensive raisins."

    *** This story helps me realize that our perceptions are not always correct.


    Standing, I bowed to everyone and walked out of the yard. I help
  • thumb

    R H 30+

    • +1
    Mar 9 2012: He was laying in a hot bath in his little vintage apartment in the city. It was a salted bath and the room was illuminated by candelight. From that vantage point, he could see how rich he was. The whole apartment was only 600 square feet, but now, because of this scene and his view and sudden realization , he was becoming a king. Most people in this area where he lived would say he was lacking, even struggling, but in this light he saw abundance. He saw that the salts in his humble bath came from the great ancient seas. He saw that in his home were art renditions from great masters. He noticed that his furniture came from craftsmen around the world, maybe through World Market, but nonetheless from craftsmen from distant lands. Through his speakers was music from the finest composers, played by the finest musicians from around the world. The most famous playrights and the most famous actors performed their most telling tales upon his command through his television. Poets, popes, and kings visited his home through their words. When he was cold, the electronic servants would warm every room to his liking. When warm, those servants would miraculously cool the air itself. He could summon any grocery merchant he wished and they would provide him with exotic fruits, delicious breads, and fresh game. When he went out, he feared no highwaymen because there was a garrison to protect him. His wife was beautiful and faithful, his best friend and closest companion for many years. She gave him bright, cheerful, and precocious daughters, who grew up and brought even more beautiful children into his household, continuing his lineage to the great respect and admiration of all. As he pondered his days, he now wondered what he had done that such grace would be showered upon him. He buried his head on his knees, fell into the waters, and cried the tears of joy of a man humbled by the grace he knew he did not deserve, yet overcome that it was given to him through no merit of his own.
  • thumb
    Mar 25 2012: Thanks RH, Your story is inspiring to say the least.

    I have been out and could not respond earlier - sorry about that.

    Will add this story to the encyclopedia. Thanks.

    You can read it at http://storyfication.com/2012/03/26/sbp12-humbled-by-life/
    • thumb

      R H 30+

      • +1
      Mar 29 2012: Thank you. That's quite an honor to be included in such a worthy effort. I'm surprised you had such little response to your idea. I would have thought the TED community would have more to offer in this regard. Anyway, all the best.
      • W T 100+

        • +1
        Mar 29 2012: This is the first time I see this thread....sometimes due to the abundance of conversations, we get lazy and don't page back....

        I will come back with a story that made an impact on me......but I have to go get the book out of the library first.....see you later.

        Great great story RH.......it's a keeper!!
        • thumb
          Mar 29 2012: Thanks for stopping by Mary M.

          I am looking forward to the story you would share.

          Cheers.

          Abhi
      • thumb
        Mar 29 2012: Thanks RH,

        I was expecting more responses too. Never the less, I will post it again when this is over.

        We can always keep collecting :)

        Cheers. Thanks again.