Posts Tagged 'm scott peck'


This is the worst holiday season I’ve ever had in my life–and most definitely the worst Christmas I’ve ever had in my life.  One reason is that my parents have never been so indifferent, insensitive, and downright cruel to me as they are this holiday season.  And it is in their verbal and nonverbal communication with me that they are so indifferent, insensitive, and downright cruel.

I would email the following words to my parents, if it would do any good.  But it wouldn’t–they are completely incapable of honestly looking at themselves–they will go to their graves believing they were always right, and I was always wrong.

Still, the following words are arguably the best I’ve encountered on the topic of sincere, active listening–and we would all do well to heed them.

They were written by M. Scott Peck, and are included in his book, Further Along The Road Less Traveled.

“There is much solace we could take from Eliot’s example as we ourselves struggle along with our rocky path and our pain.  We need some comfort on our journey, but one of the things we don’t need is quick fixes.  I have seen a lot of people who literally murder each other with quick fixes in the name of healing.

“They do this for very self-centered reasons.  For example, let’s say that Rick is my friend and he is in pain.  Because he is my friend, that causes me pain, but I don’t like to feel pain.  So what I’d like to do is to heal Rick as quickly as I possibly can to get rid of my pain.  I’d like to give him some kind of easy answer like: ‘Oh, I’m sorry your mother died but don’t feel bad about it.  She’s gone to Heaven.’  Or: ‘Gee, I had that problem once and all you have to do is go running.’

“But more often than not, the most healing thing that we can do with someone who is in pain, rather than trying to get rid of that pain, is to sit there and be willing to share it.  We have to learn to hear and to bear other people’s pain.  That is all part of becoming more conscious.  And the more conscious we become, the more we see the games that other people play and their sins and manipulations, but we’re also more conscious of their burdens and their sorrows.

“As we grow spiritually, we can take on more and more of other people’s pain, and then the most amazing thing happens.  The more pain you are willing to take on, the more joy you will also begin to feel.  And this is truly good news of what makes the journey ultimately so worthwhile.”


Bookends+maidenformIt’s strange how alcohol makes me feel like writing.  Honestly, I’ve written nothing but these posts since October.  That month, I wrote a poem.  At this time, I’m more interested in getting what I’ve already written published than writing anything new.  What’s the point in writing if no one will ever read what you’ve written?  This year, my writers’ group publishes its biennial literary review, and I plan to submit everything that it will possibly accept. 

I’ve never written a novel–I’ve started several, but have always gotten involved in writing something else.  There are two kinds of people in this world (theoretically): creators and maintainers.  Creators constantly make new things, but have difficulty finishing what they’ve begun.  Maintainers keep things going, but have difficulty starting new things.  Without creators, society would stagnate.  Without maintainers, society would deteriorate.  We need both creators and maintainers.

Have you ever read any life-changing books–the kind that enlighten you to such an extent that your entire life changes?  I have.  None of them are novels–all are nonfiction.  The first was See You at the Top, by Zig Ziglar.  This book changed my life.  Then I read Iron John: A Book about Men, by Robert Bly, and The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck.  These books changed my life.  Next, I read Jesus: A Life, by A.N. Wilson, and The Lost Gospel: The Book of ‘Q’ and Christian Origins, by Burton Mack.  These books changed my life.  And finally I read Men, Women and Relationships and Mars and Venus on a Date, by John Gray.  And these books changed my life.

Speaking of books, I’ve never read any by Anne Rice–just seen the films, “Interview with the Vampire” (one of the best I’ve ever seen) and “Queen of the Damned” (one of the worst I’ve ever seen)–but I’ve always found the writer quite attractive.

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