Good Advice from A Fictional Detective

FOUR Simple Sentences and the Wisdom They Bring

Who knew a fictional detective, training a fictional rookie detective to be a useful investigative team member, would give advice that, if taken, would be advice which works in real life. (Still Life, by Louise Penny)

The four sayings that lead to wisdom:
I was wrong
I’m sorry
I don’t know
I need help.

The four sayings also undergird recovery from addiction.

  • Admitting I was wrong short-circuits poor me, that monotonous drinking companion who would rather drink at a problem than solve it.
  • Admitting that I am sorry, I was wrong, means I am [finally] alert to the reality that other people inhabit the universe, and maybe didn’t want to get caught up in my drama.
  • Admitting I don’t know . . . just may be the first step to being a teachable being. Being teachable – even at my age – opens opportunities for conversations that just might get me one step closer to sanity.
  • Admitting I need help keeps me right-sized and ready to learn stuff I need to know, but for now, don’t know.

In the mystery, the rookie detective fought learning these simple sentences. It didn’t end well.

In my life, I still fight learning these sentences so I can say them from my heart; recovery is hard some days. Being willing to try, though, brings a great reward – a day of sober living, especially when I fresh out of wisdom.

Advice Worth Remembering
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Good Advice from A Fictional Detective
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