Friday, January 15, 2016

4 Sentences to Wisdom

I'm a big fan of Louise Penny, a Canadian writer, and the protagonist of her 10 or so novels, Chief Inspector Gamache of the Quebec Provincial Police. Penny is no normal mystery writer--her books are full of lyricism, poetry and quirky humor. Her characters, honed over several books, are complex, deep and real.

And Gamache is not your normal cop--he is introspective, deeply philosophical, remarkably well read, fully fluent in English and French, gentle, kind and powerful in all that.

In her first novel of the series, Gamache tells a trainee the four sentences he had been told as a young man by his mentor that led, Gamache believes, to Wisdom.

Here they are:

"I'm sorry."

"I don't know."

"I need help."

"I was wrong."

Eleven words for a path to Wisdom.

What the four sentences share is humility, relationship and openness to the unexpected.

I can't for the life of me conjure  up 11 words--or 111, if it comes to that--that could be more valuable in the pursuit of Wisdom or the path to being profoundly and authentically human.

I offer them to you as a gift, with my love.

And as the African saying goes, "if the gift is not welcome, send it back to me with your love."

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.