Notes from Jorge Bucay’s book “Let me tell you a story”


Jorge Bucay is a well-known doctor and psychotherapist who has written dozens of books regarding self-knowledge, philosophy and psychology. “Let me tell you a story” is one of his most famous and read books. It is consisted of a series of beautiful stories of folk wisdom and philosophical thought. While I was reading it I kept some notes that I want to share with you.

– We live believing that we “can’t” do a lot of things, just because one time when we were young we tried but we couldn’t do something. But the only way to see if now we can do it or not is by trying with all our hearts!

– A myth, a fairy-tale or a joke could be remembered a hundred times more clearly than thousands of theories, psychoanalytic definitions and arguments.

– We don’t get fed with a breast but with milk!

– Feedback: A way to protect others from our aggressiveness. In other words our aggressive and violent energy is held back by a wall we put before it reaches another person. This wall doesn’t make this energy disappear, it sends it back. All the anger, the bad mood and the aggressiveness we may feel is turned against us and it will be transformed to actions of self-punishment or hidden emotions.

– Every person is a unique and precious jewel. As a jewel it should be evaluated by a true specialist. There is no worth of going around and asking from random people to appreciate our real value.

– You should know also this is going to pass.

– Don’t feel loser even if you lose battles.

– There is no true “must” in our lives. We don’t owe anything to no one. We should only try to find satisfaction for ourselves. The only occasion we should push ourselves is during constipation.

– Sometimes life can be difficult while we try to help someone. However, if there is a difficulty we should manage is the one we experience while we help others.

– When we possess something and we get addicted to it, who belongs to who? Who is the holder of who?

– Answers are not outside but inside us. There were always here, so we can never lose them.

– A cleft birth and a coffin are two places made for only one person. Fortunately during our life journey we have co-travelers.

– Nobody else can walk our path.

– Projection: Every time I notice something irritating to another person, I should realize that what I see is – at least – mine too.

– We should know when someone feels unwanted, despised, blocked. If we put borders between us and others, we may destroy our relationships.

– If we want to fly we should start risking. If we don’t want risks then we should compromise by walking.

– Sometimes we should stay alone to discover who we are.

– Guilt: Twelve hours per day we feel guilty for who we are and the rest hours we do whatever we can to make lives of other people miserable by telling them what to do.

– We should give and not expect getting something back. No one has a debt to someone because no one owns something to others.

– We should not push others to feel solidarity because it’s like pushing the water inside a river to flow. This is not a natural way for things to be.

– Rest, change of actions and variety help us be productive.

– Deaf people always think that people who dance are probably crazy.

– We decide whether we grow up or we remain children.

– Accepting is different than compromising.

– If we succeed having what we don’t have, we won’t be happy because the moment we have what we want, we stop wanting what we always wanted since now we have it. And how we will keep dreaming happiness if we have what we want?

– We wake up to see the truth not once, but many times in our lives.

– There are only moments of fullness. The rest of our lives is our effort to live these moments.

– All of us need approval by others but that doesn’t mean we have to abandon ourselves. If we do this mistake we will end up kind of crazy, without balance and self-knowledge.

– Expensive is different than precious. Something that costs a lot of money is not necessarily important, and precious doesn’t mean that it costs a lot.

– Things exist only when their exactly opposite thing exists.

– Not telling the truth doesn’t mean lying. Truth could be different for everyone and has to do with the way someone understands the world.

– When someone lies, he/she lies first to himself/herself. There are not lies of “sympathy”. We lie because we don’t want to be on a difficult or unpleasant position and we slightly think about others.

– Straightness is something different than honesty. Someone may be honest but not straight. Additionally, someone could be straight but not honest.

– No one is more possible to be deceived than the one who will satisfy his/her desires with the lie.

– Anyone who wants the absolute truth should be ready to lose his/her calmness forever.

– We eat fruits that someone else planted and took care of years ago. We should plant and take care of fruits that some other people will eat in the future.

– There are many diamonds in stories. The decision of digging in order to find them is a personal matter of every human being.


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