6-Minute Coffee with Uncle Reggie: Storytelling
与曾叔叔喝六分钟咖啡:讲故事
(Antti/EM 翻譯)

Coffee Reggiegram : How reliable are storytellers?
Do you like listening to them?

曾叔叔咖啡短短信:讲故事的人有多可靠?
你喜欢听人讲故事吗?

Do you like real life stories? I love reading stories of real life experiences, since I feel “truth is stranger than fiction”. I’m also fascinated that real life stories depend heavily on memories, dug out from fantastically complex master computer files deep inside the skull.

你喜欢真实生活的故事吗?我特别喜欢阅读有关现实生活的故事,因为我觉得“事实比小说故事更加神奇”。而且令我感到(着迷)的是,真实生活的故事在很大程度上依赖记忆, 从存放于头脑深处,极其复杂的电脑主控文件挖出来的回忆。

My own “Coffee with Uncle Reggie stories” are mostly based on memories “triggered” by chats over coffee or lunch with young people. For which I’m ever grateful. But sometimes we might wonder, how do we know if such stories are “reliable”?

我自己的“与曾叔叔闲聊”故事书主要来自我和年轻人边喝咖啡或吃午饭边聊天时候“引发的”回忆。我一直以来对此非常感激。可是,有时候我们或许想,如何知道这些故事是否“可靠”呢?

A new book, Eyewitness Stories has helped give me good understanding that, while storytelling is an art, there is quite a bit of science also. (1) For such stories to be reliable, there seem to be 12 recognized key criteria to be satisfied. I’m going to basically summarize these for you, but will focus more on the first 6 points to keep it snappy!

有一本新书《目击者故事》,它帮助我更好地了解,虽然讲故事是一门艺术,但也相当科学化。(1)要让这些故事可靠,似乎要达到12个公认的关键条件。我要给你做一个简单的总结,但为了简洁明快,把重点放在前6个条件上。

Part 1 What are the 6 Key Criteria for reliability?

第一部。可靠性的6个关键条件是什么?

A) Are the accounts meaningful, unique and vivid?

A)描述是否有意义、独特和生动?

1.Meaningful.
2. Unique or unusual.
3. Vivid.

1. 有意义。
2. 独特或特殊。
3. 生动。

I realize now that these principles actually drove my own stories. Especially stories personally meaningful in some special way. As I chat with young people over coffee or lunch, often an issue comes up where I could give advice. But…

我现在意识到,其实是这些原则带动了我自己的故事。尤其是那些对我个人有某种特别意义的故事。当我跟年轻人一边喝咖啡或吃午饭一边闲聊的时候,经常会出现一个我本来可以提供建议的问题,可是……

No one likes unsolicited advice! However, if I say, “Let me tell you a story”, something happens. Especially if I tell a meaningfully relevant story. As I give the story I can see the young person relaxing to enjoy the story. He’s listening… Which allows him to begin to catch any deeper meaning.

没人喜欢不请自来的建议!然而,如果我说,“我给你讲一个故事吧”,就会发生一件事情——特别是我讲一个既有意义又贴切的故事的时候。当我叙述故事的时候,会看到那位年轻人开始放松和享受。他在聆听……这便允许他开始领悟任何更深层的意义。

Sometimes not immediately. I think stories subtly overcome barriers, and even stay in the mind to awaken it later. Even imprinting in the mind for years. You might recall the Master story teller who nearly always answered a question with a story… there must be a good reason!

有时候并不会立即如此。我想,一个故事能够巧妙地消除障碍,留在心中,甚至多年深深铭记在心上,以后再唤醒它。你也许会想起那位讲故事的大师,他几乎每次用故事来回答一个问题——他肯定有充分的理由这么做!

Merciless critics? However, kids and young people are easily bored if I told a story that wasn’t unique or unusual, nor told well. I can see the story flop immediately as I’m telling it! Kids can be merciless! So I tend to recall and tell of unique or unusual memories. Which turn out to be ones I best remember anyway, and later also by my young “critics”.

无情的批评者?可是,如果我讲一个不太独特或特殊的故事,或者讲得不好,小孩子和年轻人便很容易觉得无聊。我在讲的时候可以直接看到故事已经失败了!有时候孩子们很无情!所以,我更愿意回想和讲出那些独特或不寻常的记忆。本来它们就是我记得最好的,而听我叙述的年轻“批评家们”也将如此。

Often my stories especially recaptured vivid events which had inspired and energized me personally. I could see the effect of such stories instantly on my young listeners, by watching their eyes. My travels over 3 million miles have particularly produced many vivid stories, which are usually also vividly received and remembered by my listeners.

我的故事常常尤其反映那些鼓动和激励过我自己的深刻的经历。我通过观察我年轻听众的眼睛,能立刻看出那些故事的力量。我有超过三百万英里的旅游总里程,积累了许多生动的故事,而我的听众通常也会生动地聆听并铭记这些故事。

A suicide example. My suicidal hospital patient dashed out to the balcony to jump over the railing, thus triggering my frantic dash to save him. I can remember this story (2) vividly in my mind’s eyes, a unique event, never again in my life! Full of deep meaning, especially for a young doctor facing the reality of dealing often with life and death issues. Even at personal risk, hanging over the railing gripping his dangling body, while making serious (hang on!) life decisions.

自杀例子。我在医院照顾的一位有自杀倾向的病人,冲到阳台上准备跳下去,令我手忙脚乱地冲过去救他。这个故事(2)在我脑海中历历在目,是一个独一无二的经历,在我人生中再也没发生过!它充满深刻的意义,特别是对一个常常面对生死攸关的现实情况的年轻医生而言。冒着生命危险,在护栏上抓住他悬挂的身体,同时在做重大的(要抓紧!)人生抉择。

Vivid story of attempted suicide. Artist Lilly Heinzen, Seattle
有关尝试自杀的生动故事。画:Lily Heinzen,西雅图

What about the greatest teacher? The greatest teacher told lots of great stories, read ultimately by billions of readers. Billions! And nearly all gospel stories of him were written by direct eyewitnesses or recorders at first hand. Like his dramatic resurrection, 1) full of profound life and death meaning, 2) unique, the only one of the greatest religious leaders ever to do so, and 3) shockingly vivid: the massive stone blocking the tomb opening, guarded by elite Roman soldiers, mysteriously rolled away, followed by his numerous recorded physical appearances to numerous people.

那位最伟大的教师如何呢?最伟大的教师曾讲过许多好故事,至今为止有数以十亿的读者来阅读。几十亿!而且几乎所有关于他的经典故事都是由直接目击者或记录者亲手写的。比如说他戏剧性的复活之事:1)充满深刻的生命与死亡意义;2)独特:在最伟大的信仰领袖当中唯独他有这种经历;3)生动得惊人:被罗马精兵守卫的挡住坟墓入口的巨大石块,神奇地被挪开,其后他多次在多人面前亲身出现都有记录。

Intensive and extensive research regarding these records over centuries have shown them highly consistent with authentic eyewitness principles. Records written down, amazingly, 2,000 years ago!

几百年的深入广泛的研究表明,这些记录高度符合真实目击者的原则。令人惊讶的是,这些记录是两千年前写下来的!

B) Was the writer a participant, reliving events to listeners, and prompted by cues from them?

B)这位作者是故事的参与者,向听众重温所经历的事件,并在回应听众的提示吗?

4.Witness was participant in story.
5.Story relived frequently by witness.
6.Witness repeatedly given cues to clarify story.

4. 目击者亲身参与过故事中。
5. 故事常常被目击者重温。
6. 目击者反复收到阐明故事的提示。

What would Jackie Chan do? I personally prefer to tell stories where I was clearly a participant and therefore clearly remember the details, often vividly and even enjoyably. The Asian Stereotype story (2) involved me as the Asian, stereotyped and attacked as camera toting tourist with pocket change, but later switched to an apparent “Jackie Chan stereotype” once my kung-fu stance emerged. Which instantly scared off the team of would be camera snatchers.

成龙会怎么做?我个人更愿意讲自己亲身参与过的,对细节记得很清楚,一般很生动甚至愉快的故事。在我的故事《典型的亚洲人》(2)中我当了那位领着相机和身上带着零钱,因而被作为攻击对象的典型亚洲人。而我的功夫姿势一旦亮相,便似乎变成了 “典型的成龙”。这一下子把准备抢我相机的团伙吓跑了。

Tell the story again! As I told stories like this to young people, I relived them. I remember well a 10 year old girl who, after hearing this particular story, excitedly rushed to grab her gang of peers, and badgered me to, “tell the story again.” And again, and again, demonstrated with full theatrical drama. That’s how I developed a “reputation” for good storytelling, but which also helped me to literally relive my stories again and again, imprinting the stories into my own mind even as I imprinted them on my eager listeners’ minds.

再讲一遍!当我给年轻人讲述这种故事的时候,我在重温那些经历。我很清楚地记得一位十岁的女孩子,她听完上面提到的故事之后,十分兴奋地把她的同伙们拉过来,纠缠我“再讲一遍”。一遍又一遍地,以完全戏剧性的方式讲述故事。我就是这样获得讲故事高手的“名声”,但这也帮助了我一再重温我的故事,把它们铭记在热心听众的心上的同时也铭记在我自己的心上。

And curious children often peppered me about specific details. These cues provoked my memories of details I might have glossed over. Questions like, “did you really know kung-fu?” The answer was simply no, but that dialogue helped imprint the lesson to not stereotype anyone, not even those with ethnic Jackie Chan potential!

而且,好奇的小孩子经常向我询问细节。这些提示激起我对本来可能忽视的细节的记忆。像“你真的会功夫吗?”之类的问题。答案简单是“不”,但这些对话帮助人铭记不要把某人看成典型人物的教训,哪怕是在民族血统上有成为成龙潜力的人!

The participant storyteller relives the kung-fu stereotype story.
作为参与者的讲故事人在重温典型的功夫故事。

What about the gospel stories? Let’s take the crucifixion story, written by those 4) who were there at his illegal arrest, likely watching their Master carry his cross, and finally observing at safe distance in great fear, his actual cruel crucifixion, 5) who retold and relived the account numerous times whenever enquirers asked, and 6) who had to take innumerable questions, functioning as cues, from listeners of many nations, skeptics or followers, to clarify what specifically happened in that horrifying time of persecution by Roman and religious leaders.

经典的福音故事如何呢?让我们来看看十字架的故事吧。它的作者是那些4)在他被非法逮捕现场的人,很可能目睹他们的主背着他的十字架,最后从安全的距离充满恐惧观看他残酷地被钉在十字架上。5)他们多次把故事复述和重温给任何打听的人,而6)他们需要接受来自各国的听众,无论是质疑者还是追随者的无数问题,藉而阐明在那受到罗马和宗教领袖迫害的恐怖时刻到底发生了什么事。

Part 2 Are the other 6 criteria complementary?

第二部。其它6个条件是否互相补充?

A) Are the accounts making sense, encouraging change and communicated appropriately?

A) 记载是否合理?它们鼓励转变并传达得当吗?

The storyteller:
7. Gives the story sense and perspective, since the living eye witness storyteller gives interpretation and understanding to it.
8. Prominently describes events that are potential change (even “disruptive”) agents.
9. Communicates the story in a culturally acceptable format.

讲故事的人:
7. 赋予故事的意义和看法,因为讲故事的人是一个活着的目击者,给故事作出演绎和解读。
8. 明显地描述有(甚至“突破性或颠覆性的”)推动变革潜力的事情。
9. 以文化上适当的形式传达故事。

An explosive story. I love to tell of the accident that exploded the thumb nail of my future wife (2). This near disaster created a “deep impression” for her. In my perspective and interpretation, this was a life changing disruptive story. I felt this “deep impression” laid the counter–intuitive ground for her accepting my marriage proposal at age 15! The intrigued reader should read the full story.

爆炸性的故事。我非常喜欢讲我未来妻子的拇指指甲不小心被爆炸的故事(2)。这差点成为灾难的事件对她创造了“深刻的印象”。按照我的角度和解读,这就是一个改变生命的颠覆性故事。我觉得,是这个“深刻的印象”对她15岁的时候接受了我的求婚起到了违反常理的作用!感兴趣的读者可以去阅读整个故事。

Depending on the type of audience, I often told such stories orally, commonly with dramatic hand gestures to maximize the effect. Or through bilingual emails, Facebook, and Wechat to be culturally appropriate. Whatever it takes to tell the story well!

根据听众的类型,我常常口述这些故事,一般还用夸大的手势来产生最大的效果。或者为了配合文化,写双语的电子邮件、脸书和微信留言。想尽办法把故事讲得好!

Story-teller interpretation of explosive story
讲故事者对爆炸性故事的解读。

Can you imagine how explosive the gospel histories were? As the Great Teacher performed numerous miracles, especially of healing, 7) the eye witnesses of these impressive stories gave perspective and interpretation for their stories. 8) Their stories had life-changing disruptive impact for many, as they literally saw the love of God in action. 9) These written documents were copied and recopied carefully down the generations to us. The well known meticulous Jewish writing skills were a big factor and help indeed!

你能想象福音的历史有多么震撼性吗?当那位伟大的教师行许多神迹,特别是医治人的时候,7)这些令人印象深刻的故事的目击者,对这些事提供了他们的看法和解读。8)他们的故事对很多人产生了改变生命的突破性影响,因为他们亲眼看到上天的爱如何实践。9)这些记载一代一代谨慎地被抄写下来,一直流传至今。犹太人出名的细致写作技术确实是一个重大因素和帮助!

B) Final 3 criteria:

B)最后3个条件:

Authentic eyewitness stories are:
10. “Flashbulb experiences” expressed as “paintings” of the gist of the stories.
11. Usually highly reliable and trustworthy.
12. Based on events remembered well for decades.

真实的目击者讲的故事是:
10. “闪光灯经历”作为故事要点的“绘画”。
11. 通常高度可靠可信。
12. 以几十年留在人们记忆中的事情为基础的。

The good storyteller typically remembers important stories as sudden flashbulb photos of events. When written down or told, they become more like paintings containing nuances conveying the rich gist of the stories.

一般来说,好的讲故事者会以闪光灯照相的片刻一般记住重要的故事。而记下或叙述的时候,它们变得更像一幅细致而包含故事丰富要点的绘画。

Based on criteria listed above, unless deliberately lying, he will actually be accurate, by some studies as high as 98.5%, and well trusted, as he recalls events decades ago (1). The mind and memory are remarkable in these feats!

根据上列条件,当他回顾几十年前的事情时,除了故意撒谎之外,他其实会很准确而值得信赖(1)。有研究表明,甚至可以达到98.5%的准确度。人的大脑和记忆力很了不起!

How deep are our own memories? In my “Memories are deep” story on reggietales.org, my cousin Ming was comatose in the hospital. When I arrived, he suddenly woke up and immediately recognized me though we hadn’t met since childhood 30 years earlier! He instantly talked to me in our native, long unused, Swatow language, as if there had been no time interruption. How deep and precise our memories can be!

我们自己的记忆有多深?在reggietales.org有我的故事“记忆深处”,其中讲到我的表哥明在医院里昏迷不醒。我到场的时候,他突然醒过来,立即认出我,尽管我们上次见面是在30年前的童年里!他直接对我说我们长期未使用的母语汕头话,好像没有任何时间间隔似的。我们的记忆都能够如此深,如此准确!

Were the Gospel stories flashbulb like? 10) They were indeed, but then 11) painted to us in murals of beauty, becoming the crux of the most translated and widely circulated book in the world. 12) Well proven to be written only a few decades after the events occurred, clearly within solid memory limits.

经典的福音故事是否闪光灯式的?10)它们的确是,但后来11)为我们以美丽的壁画形式被绘画,成为世界上翻译最多、流传最广的书籍的核心。12)已经有充分的证明,事情过后仅仅几十年被记载,显然还在牢固记忆的范围之内。

Can we follow in the steps of these life-changing story-tellers? As I learn to be a better story-teller, I try to walk in the huge footsteps of the gospel writers, men of sterling integrity who wrote passionately at great personal risk of their own lives. Who wrote the most reliable stories of early history, verified through numerous tests of reliability, appreciated amazingly by more than a third of the world, even translated into nearly every written language.

我们是否可以跟随这些改变人生的讲故事者的脚步?当我学习如何更好地讲故事,我努力跟随经典故事的记载者的巨大脚步。他们是有杰出品格的人,冒着大大的生命危险充满热情地投身于写作。他们写下了有关早期历史的最可靠的故事,通过无数可靠验证,令人惊讶地被全世界三分之一以上的人来欣赏和重视,甚至被翻译成几乎是世界上所有的书面语言。

Real live story-telling writer. A trilogy of Coffee Books.
活生生的讲故事的作者。与曾叔叔闲聊三部曲。

References.

参考资料

1. Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the eyewitnesses. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2017, 2nd edition. This book provided the inspiration and principles for my article.

1、Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the eyewitnesses. 威廉·B·伊尔德曼斯出版公司,密歇根州大急流城,2017年,第二版。该书对我的文章及其中原则提供了灵感。

2. Tsang, Reginald. Coffee with Uncle Reggie Book one. CCL, 2016.

2、曾振锚,《与曾叔叔闲聊——我们的新生儿科教授》,CCL, 2016年.