For Book Groups

The Wisdom to Know the Difference is a great subject for book groups. This page is dedicated to giving you tips and ideas on how to use this book in a group setting.

If your book group is interested in exploring the issues in this book in depth, you might consider reading a chapter or two at a time, so that you can focus on different topics over several sessions. There are questions at the end of every chapter that you can explore together, as well as an exercise per chapter. You can use these to prompt a series of evening discussions or a weekend retreat.

Alternatively, since many book groups read a book per month, below you will find a consolidated list of the personal reflection questions from the book and additional questions for those who prefer to focus on the book itself, rather than their own experience.

If you would like to have Eileen Flanagan visit your book group (in person, by telephone, or on Skype) please contact her to check her availability.

Questions for Personal Reflection

  1. What is usually more difficult for you, accepting the things you cannot change or mustering the courage to change the things you should change?
  2. Why is this more difficult?
  3. How do your beliefs affect how you live now?
  4. How do the expectations of other people prompt you to hide who you really are?
  5. Have you ever felt a deep sense of peace or clarity come to you in a time of decision or difficulty?
  6. Did you think of this as God’s guidance?
  7. What thoughts do you regularly have that you would like to change?
  8. Are there attitudes you could change in yourself that might help bring out the best in others?
  9. Are there aspects of your life that might get easier if you stopped trying so hard?
  10. Do you have a community that encourages your spiritual growth?

Questions about the Book

  1. In the Introduction, Eileen Flanagan says she thought originally or organizing the book into sections on serenity, courage, and wisdom.  Why do you think she ultimately organized it the way she did?
  2. Why does each chapter begin with a story?
  3. What is the effect of having stories from people of different backgrounds and religions?
  4. What is the influence of Flanagan’s own Quaker faith?
  5. How does your background affect the way you would approach this topic?