Storytelling at Work
December 25, 2018
Gandhi and the Professor


I just received this wonderful fake, urban legend story from Craig Klawuhn. Even if never happened, it's a great little story to read, especially if you ever find yourself being dismissed or diminished by "people in power."

When Gandhi was studying law at University College, London, a Caucasian professor, whose last name was Peter, disliked him intensely and always displayed prejudice and animosity towards him.

Also, because Gandhi never lowered his head when addressing his professor, as assumed, there were always arguments and confrontations.

One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University, and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the professor.

The professor said, "Mr. Gandhi, you do not understand. A pig and a bird do not sit together to eat."

Gandhi looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, "You do not worry professor. I'll fly away," and he went and sat at another table.

Mr. Peters, reddened with rage, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi responded brilliantly to all questions.

Mr. Peters, unhappy and frustrated, asked him the following question. "Mr. Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?"

Without hesitating, Gandhi responded, "The one with the money, of course."

Mr. Peters, smiling sarcastically, said, "I, in your place, would have taken wisdom."

Gandhi shrugged indifferently and responded, "Each one takes what he doesn't have."

Mr. Peters, by this time, was beside himself and so great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi's exam sheet the word "IDIOT" and gave it to Gandhi.

Gandhi took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk trying very hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move.

A few minutes later, Gandhi got up, went to the professor and said to him in a dignified but sarcastically polite tone, "Mr. Peters, you signed the sheet, but you did not give me the grade."

My book on storytelling
Another story about resolving differences

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2018
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (and makes a great gift)

Stories can be told in many ways. Most are told in words, but there are other stories, equally as powerful, if not more so, that are told with images -- like the fabulous art of Evelyne Pouget.


If you find yourself in San Miguel de Allende this holiday season, you are in luck. The artful Ms. Pouget is having a studio sale in her home: framed digital paintings, oil pastels, and oil paintings. Discounts of 40%. Price start from $30US. Lots of choices. Sets of four greeting cards are only 300 pesos.

December 11 - 13: 10:00 am - 12:00pm
December 14: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Las Moras 61, Colonia Allende (between 5 de Mayo and Las Flores).

No worries if you are out of town. Evelyne can ship prints to you.







NOTE: All of the above images are from San Miguel de Allende -- the Concheros and the architecture. Wow.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2018
The Dark Side of Storytelling


All of us tell stories -- whether we speak them aloud or not. Our stories are our handy dandy way of interpreting reality. Often, however, the stories we tell are nothing more than ways to protect ourselves from reality -- our strategy to maintain our sense of self-worth even when "real life" has something else to say to us. In this spot on 11-minute TED talk, Suzanne Duncan, a thought leader in the investment management industry, elaborates on this phenomenon -- and it's downside for anyone in business.
Storytelling at Work
A Storytelling Workshop for People in Business

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2018
More About Evelyne Pouget
"When people ask me if I am an artist, I usually pause before answering. And the reason why is because, deep down, I believe that most of us are artists. Art, to me, is the ability to tune in, see beauty, and express it in a memorable way. I'm not talking about "beauty" in the traditional sense of the word. I'm talking about the recognition of what truly moves us as human beings. Artists are simply those people who find a way to capture this feeling and evoke it in others.

My early influences were places, not people. Born in Paris, I was surrounded by art. At 17, wanting to explore other cultures, I moved to Rome, alone, where my artist's journey began, creating posters for the Roman theater and working in a graphic design studio. From there, I traveled the world, then moved to New York City, started my own graphic design studio, and learned how to communicate a message that captured both attention and feeling.

Always, I was self-taught. It was feeling and fascination that were my teachers, not professors. It was only when I moved to Woodstock, New York -- pregnant with my first child -- that my artistic sensibilities fully opened up. I began with portraits, moved on to landscapes, then mosaics, oil pastels, photography, and now, 25 years later, digital painting.

Living in San Miguel de Allende has opened up my artistic palette to a whole new level. My first creations here were oil portraits of the people I encountered on my walks -- flower vendors, abuelas, and musicians -- people most tourists take for granted. And then one day, 16 years ago, sitting in a park, I heard, off in the distance, I heard the enchanting sound of drums, bells, and shakers. I looked up and was astonished at what I saw -- hundreds of dancers, dressed in outrageous costumes, walking in my direction.

These indigenous dancers were enacting a sacred tradition that had been going on for hundreds of years in Mexico. I photographed as many of them as I could -- not as a tourist taking pictures, but as a visual artist attempting to amplify beauty. These people inspired me -- the way they moved, what they stood for, their nobility, creativity, and commitment. Stunned by what they evoked in me, I kept searching for new ways to more fully express what I was seeing -- a way that would enable others to pause, reflect, and appreciate what these dancers were all about.

After a lot of experimentation, I realized, with my digital art, that I could amplify the moment, making more accessible, to others, the spirit and beauty of these amazing people.

As an artist, I am on a lifelong quest to find my voice -- what I have to say and how I want to say it. It's this voice I care about, true meaning, not art trends and style. And while I may never be as well-known as two of my earliest influences, Vermeer and Sargent, I trust that I will continue discovering my voice and the ever-changing forms of its expression, here in the beautiful town San Miguel."

Evelyne's digital art
Evelyne's pet portraits
Evelyne's people portraits
Evelyne's equine portraits

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)


Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

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