You can always ask two questions about stories: what's it about? what's it really about? What's it about is the anecdote bit, what's it really about is what transforms it into a story.
An incident I remember from primary school was being told off for talking, when it wasn't actually me, it was someone else. That's what it's about, and a fairly ordinary experience, I'd imagine. If I was writing it up as a story I'd have to dig a bit deeper for the what it's really about.
What if the story became about friendship? Let's suppose it was my best friend talking, who stood by and didn't say anything when I was punished - would our friendship survive? Or perhaps it's about self-sacrifice - my friend might have had warnings about their behaviour before and they'd be in real trouble if they got told off again, so I claimed to have been the one speaking. Or it's about injustice (I go on to be a campaigner as an adult) or scapegoating (how teachers pick on one child).
In that example the what it's about doesn't change but the what it's really about could be all sorts of things. Ideas are all around us, but it's up to the writer to work out what they're really about.