Words of Wisdom for
Leadership, Learning, and Life in
Exactly 99 Words


99-Word Stories by ,
Creative Learning Director of
The Flirefly Group.
© 2011 Brian Remer
Updated Dec. 2011

Why precisely 99 words? Many of our daily experiences may seem ordinary or even trivial. But if we boil them down to their essential ingredients, we can often remix them into new recipes that can be applied in unexpected situations.

Think of these stories as exotic seeds for critical reflection. Then use them to spice your own quotidian experiences and add meaning to your life. When you reach a profound conclusion, please so others can be enriched too!


Choose a Story
Deficit or Asset  
How Big is Home?  
Faster Than...  


Deficit or Asset?

Devon is a boy with autism. His biggest problem is that he reads and spells out every road sign on car trips. His parents dreaded driving. They could not abide his annoying habit - until they took a wrong turn onto a back street in Boston. It was Devon who saved them by reciting every street they had driven through.

Who would have thought: a different situation and Devon's deficit became an asset. Now he takes the copilot's seat for every road trip.

Sometimes a person's problem is really a gift if we give them the opportunity.


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How Big is Home?

Driving across the New York interstate a car approached from behind. With lights flashing and horn blaring, a middle aged couple smiled and waved enthusiastically as they sped past. "Hey, what's up," I thought. Then I noticed their license plate: Nebraska, just like mine but a county across the state I'd never visited. I waved and smiled emphatically.

The three of us had yet to meet but here, a thousand miles from home, we were neighbors, even friends. We could exchange gossip at a diner!

The farther you are from home, the bigger home becomes.


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Faster Thanů

Standing in line at the Batman Rollercoaster for 45 minutes, we were hot, sweaty, and brain numb listening to the Joker's theme song over and over. A few people began to leave. What was happening? Should we stay in line, get a return on our time investment? Should we leave and cut our losses?

"It'll be closed for hours," my daughter speculated. That was it. Instantly we were at the tail of a long line in the opposite direction as her words spread and people began to leave.

Our rumors and reputation spread faster than our actions!


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