‘Would it help?”

In the film Bridge of Spies (2015), James Donovan (Tom Hanks) is an attorney who agrees to represent a captured Russian spy, Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance). There is this brief exchange:

Donovan: I have a mandate to serve you. Nobody else does. Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair.

Abel: All right…

Donovan: You don’t seem alarmed.

Abel: Would it help?

Asking and then answering that question can help us avoid wasting time and energy by loitering in the land of Wouda Coulda Shoulda.

Yes, it has helped me.

Would it help you?

That’s up to you to find out.




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