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Cover for The Wisdom to Know the Difference

The Wisdom to Know the Difference

When to Make a Change-and When to Let Go

Eileen Flanagan


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"The Wisdom to Know the Difference is about being able to change. . . . What is important is that we can make a change and transform ourselves into better, happier people." (His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can change; and wisdom to know the difference.

Millions of people have been moved by these famous last lines from the Serenity Prayer to make important and lasting changes in their lives. But how exactly can we know the difference? How can we acknowledge the real limits that we face without negating the possibility for dramatic change? In this wise book, Eileen Flanagan guides readers in determining what they can-or perhaps should- change in their lives, accepting what they cannot, and discovering the "wisdom to know the difference."

Drawing on her own Quaker faith as well as a range of other religious and spiritual traditions, Flanagan shows readers how such practices as sifting through culturally preconceived notions and listening to our own inner voice can help us determine when a change is needed in our lives or when instead acceptance is the answer.

This illuminating book takes the reader by the hand to discover the serenity that comes when one has gained the wisdom to know the difference.

TarcherPerigee, 9781585428298, 288pp.

Publication Date: September 2, 2010

About the Author

Eileen Flanagan, a writer and public speaker, is the author of the Silver Nautilus Book Award–winning books, Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope and The Wisdom to Know the Difference: When to Make a Change—and When to Let Go, which was endorsed by the Dalai Lama. She lives in Philadelphia, where she works as a leader of the Earth Quaker Action Team.