9 Quotable Life Lessons From The FBI's Ten Most Wanted List

Rick Martinez

That I'll teach to my kids...


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There is a truth about learning that says something like, we never really know where authentic learning will come from.

For instance, we can learn a lot about life, life lessons, philosophy of life, and even how to live and love our best lives from icons throughout history.

The stoics.

The writers.

The thinkers.

The entrepreneurs.

The criminals.


The criminals.

Look, let's not pull punches here. The bad guys play by their own rules, and on some levels, it's damn alluring.

Some might even say "sexy".

And more so, can we even honestly believe that we've explored all the ways of living our best life if we haven't at least considered how the bad guys do it too?

Well, let me tell ya something, partner.

You're about to learn some pretty prolific life messages here from the FBI's #1 "Most Wanted".

Raymond Reddington.

Off we go now to find some light in the pseudo-dark-side.

"The only thing worse than a lie is the lie that compounds it"

Isn't this something we wish our kids would not only understand but practice?

Don't lie.

Lies beget more lies.

And yes, there is honor among thieves.

"You can't judge a book by its cover. But you can by its first few chapters, and certainly by its last"

Not too long ago, I started reading a book.

It sucked.

BUT, the reviews were crazy good, and my friends said, "give it a few more chapters, Rick."

I said "Nah" and then recalled this quote.

Besides books, though, is how we react to people. If you substitute my book analogy for a person, you get my drift. We know intuitively if that person is "good peeps" or "bad peeps" from that initial moment we meet them. We can call that meeting chapter one.

Heed it.

"Fear is a liar. It activates the enemy"

When the wolf smells it on you, you're doomed.

Fear, I mean.

Look, you WILL be afraid at times, and it's in these moments that you choose your destiny.

Succumb to it and face the consequences…

Or rise despite it and kick some ass.

I want my kids to rise.

"Revenge isn't a passion. It's a disease. It eats at your mind and poisons your soul"

The opposite is forgiveness.

Maybe in the movies, revenge is cool, hip, and sells tickets. But in real life, revenge is a sickness that will consume you and all you stand for…if you allow it.

There is greater strength in forgiveness, and that's what I will want my children to know and embrace. There's a pearl of profound wisdom to what Reddington says, so avoid the disease called revenge.

"I Had Bullets, He Had Words. But When He Was Done Talking For The First Time I Truly Understood Which Of Those Was More Powerful"

This one hit me especially hard because I'm a writer. And writers know that the pen is mightier than the sword.

But what about bullets?

Look, it’s ok. Bring that pen to THIS gun-fight.

Game, set, and match for words.

"Knowing when to stand up or stand down… that's courage"

Our egos become the enemy with this. We may let bravado get in the way of wisdom, and the end might turn out disastrous.

Standing down doesn't mean to quit necessarily. To stand down may be just what we need to live and fight another day.

And more than that is having the courage to do so.

"When You Love Someone, You Have No Control. That's What Love Is. Being Powerless"


It makes you powerless, and at the same time, powerful.

It's a force that can only be described and felt with the heart, with the soul. And it may arguably be the only time that you could be safe in losing control.

When "Red" said this on The Blacklist, I felt something shift in me. And I want that for my kids too.

"Yes. The girl. She's worth it"

All I have to do is look over at my wife.

She knows.

I know.

And I want my children to know that when you find that special someone, you'll know it to the depths of your being.

She's worth it.

All of it

And finally,

"You Know The Problem With Drawing Lines In The Sand? With A Breath Of Air, They Disappear"

Whether one takes their wisdom from poets or gangsters, from thinkers or robbers, from CEO's or Bosses, the truth isn't what you learn; it's what you do with it.

Do good.

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I'm a freelance writer and a nurse, exploring the world one beer, donut, and experience at a time. Writing about the travel nurse industry and healthcare, with the occasional emphasis on donuts. #NomNom

San Antonio, TX

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