In recent weeks, I picked up a book which was recommended to me years ago. I’ll admit; this book has been sitting, sadly gathering dust on my bookshelf for quite some time. Though I suspected it contained a wealth of knowledge, I had just never gotten around to it. Maybe there is a reason for that? Maybe books come to us at just the right time; at the right moment, when we are ready to hear their message?
From page one, I was captivated. So much so, that it inspired me to begin a new offshoot of my blog, as I just had to share it.
Right from the beginning, Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, M. Scott Peck, wastes no time. Exploring fundamental aspects of personality, behaviour and decision making, he dives head first in to one of the biggest questions that we face, on all levels and of all magnitudes, and that is; how do we confront problems in life? Peck argues with precision and clarity, how to cultivate discipline, delay gratification and take responsibility in our lives. That is all in just the first 30 pages.
‘Love’ is a core concept to many of Peck’s musings, and he goes on to explain the ways in which genuine love naturally lies at the centre of all spiritual growth. He provides us with this definition of love:
“The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”,
From here the scene of the remainder of the book is set.
With the juxtaposition of carefully chosen case studies, Peck eloquently tackles the biggest issues that humanity faces. What is it to truly love? What is it to truly believe? How can we work towards spiritual growth and fulfilment as well as emotional and psychological health?
I would go so far as to say that Peck provides us here with a practical bible on ‘how to live well’. He speaks with logic, intent and common sense; which I was once told by someone very wise, is the least common of all human traits. Peck efficiently gives his readers a proverbial ‘kick up the bum’; calling out all laziness and unwillingness to act on life’s opportunity’s for growth and betterment.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be a better therapist. A better partner. A better parent. A better friend. A better person. Yes, you guessed it; I recommend this book to pretty much everyone.