Posts Tagged ‘Story telling’

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

Friday, November 20th, 2015


Cut Off By a U-Turning Driver

One fine morning last week, with flashlight in hand, I took Blackie the wonder dog, for a walk. It was cold and dark. I was anxious to return home to let my ears defrost.

We walked past a parking lot and a white Honda  approached us going the opposite direction.

Suddenly the driver did a U-turn in right front of us and parked on the street. His car lights temporarily blinded me.

I thought:

Who does this guy think he is, the Dark Knight responding to an urgent bat signal?

He must think he owns the road.

I just knew this guy was an inconsiderate, self-absorbed Charlie Sheen clone.

charlie sheen

“Kind of cold isn’t it?” the driver said as he got out of the car with a big smile.

My frosty attitude towards him abruptly melted.

“Yeah, it looks like summer is finally over,” I replied.

I thought of Abraham Lincoln’s maxim, “I do not like that man. I must get to know him better.”

Well, I got to know him and he had disarmed me with his friendliness. Suddenly I liked him.

Dog Attack with No Apology

In contrast, last year in about the same place, I was walking Blackie when out of the blue, two dogs burst out of a screen door in a nearby house. They headed straight for Blackie and I, like heat-seeking missiles. The dogs barked and ran circles around us like a wolf pack.

After a minute or two, a lady stuck her head out the door and shouted to her dogs, “Get in here!” The dogs went in and she closed the door without a word.

Would it break her jaw just to say “sorry”? One friendly word would have broken the ice jam and disarmed my hard feelings, but none was given.

laser beam eyes

Now, my laser beam eyes are set on “stand-by” when I walk by that house, ready to unleash fiery retribution at my whim.

The lesson

We are almost powerless to hate a person who is friendly towards us, but it’s hard to forget those who deliberately do us wrong.

The next time I am in a situation where I might offend someone, even inadvertently, I will “disarm their hostility with friendliness.”


Authors note:

These stories are my attempt to glean insights from the seemingly mundane incidents that occur in every day life. My plan is to capture these “eureka moments” and squeeze all the illumination and inspiration from them, before they can slip through my fingers.

Like the storytelling of Abraham Lincoln, I think one’s own personal stories can transform both the listener and the speaker.


Related Posts

Yard Sales, Heroic Cats and Zombies

Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments 6

Act Out Characters to Make a Story Sizzle (video)

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Donald Trump vs. Abe Lincoln – #LifeLesson10

Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

Think for Yourself: Never Ask a Barber if You Need a Haircut – LifeLesson #13

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

Upcoming Presentations

Nov. 24th, 2015. “Abraham Lincoln: Stories and Humor.” Cholla High School. Tucson, Arizona.

Dec. 15, 2015, 12:40 to 1:00 pm. “Abe Lincoln: The Greatest Storytelling President.” Old Pueblo Rotary Club. Hotel Tucson. Tucson, Arizona.



How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People

Friday, November 28th, 2014

  Abraham Lincoln said, “Stories are the shortest path between strangers and friends.”

Lincoln’s version of a Facebook page was his one-on-one and face-to-face telling of stories to everyone he met. Stories allowed him to connect with people and win their respect in the shortest possible time. Not a bad skill for a politician to have.

Everyone who walked into Lincoln’s law office was told a story before they left. John H. Littlefield observed,

“No matter how busy Lincoln might be, whenever anyone came in he would inevitably greet him with a pleasant or funny comment, and before he left would always tell a joke or anecdote. Often he told the same story four or five times in the course of a day (to different visitors), and every time laughed as heartily as anyone.”

Toastmaster Conference Presentation Update

My seminar at the District 13 Toastmaster Conference, “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones (and how you can too),” went extremely well. I may have made my presentation with my heart on my sleeve and spaghetti sauce on my tie, but I received very positive feedback afterwards. Books sold like hot cakes.


 Upcoming Presentations or Interviews on “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones”

Dec. 11, 7:15 am (Mountain time). Interview with the redoubtable Rich Peterson, KROC Radio 1340 AM, Rochester, Minnesota. Web broadcast on

Dec 12, 2014, 6:15 am (Mttn. time) the indomitable Bob Schmidt, WLFN 1490 AM, Onalaska, Wisconsin. Listen in at

Dec 17, 6:10 am (Mtn. time). Interview with the dynamic Dan Ramey, WBEX Radio 1490 AM, Chillicothe, Ohio. Web broadcast on

Dec. 30, 6:08 am (Mtn. time). Interview with the genial and witty Jeff Anderson, KSDR AM, Watertown, SD.

Rich Peterson

Bob Schmidt

Dan Ramey

Jeff Anderson

Related Posts

Abraham Lincoln Storytelling Secret – Add Voices

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President)

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book

What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me About the Power of Stories

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview

Feb. 4: “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of a Story” at AZ Senior Academy

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes