A lifetime of collected anecdotes in an excellent and entertaining resource for speakers, writers, and storytellers.
Physician, researcher, and speaker Rajah writes that he spent 20 years amassing these 365 parables and is grateful for his early realization that he needed to record these stories because “the faintest ink is stronger than the best memory.” Each month of the year has a theme: e.g., “Philosophy and Wisdom” for January, “Best Humor” for June, and “Inspiration” for December. Most days, the anecdote is accompanied by a brief message and a quote, the sources ranging from Che Guevara and Friedrich Nietzsche to Martin Luther King Jr. and Mark Twain. “Plowing Troubled Land” tells of a Jewish potato farmer sent to a concentration camp while his gentile wife was left to manage the farm. The man wrote his wife a letter and said, “Don’t dare plow the field. There is a lot of hidden hardware buried.” The very night she received the letter, the Gestapo arrived and raided the farm, digging up all the land. The confused wife wrote her husband about the incident, and he replied, “Now plant the potatoes”: after all, “Every crisis represents at the same time an opportunity.” It’s hard to imagine a reader who won’t discover fresh stories in these pages. That said, a few of the stories are overly familiar or commonplace, such as the “Footprints in the Sand” legend in which a man dreams he’s walking on the beach with God. Nevertheless, the well-written book would make a fine resource for anyone needing a brief illustration to share at a church or civic club meeting. While offering a year’s worth of stories, the book never turns tiresome, perfectly illustrating the quote from Winston Churchill that a good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: “long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest”—an apt description of the book itself.
Pithy portions of wisdom well-told.