Top positive review
45 people found this helpful
Always learn. Never give up. Never surrender.
on June 22, 2004
As one would expect from Scott Peck, I found this to be a very encouraging book. Peck continues to write on suffering, and it's being the key to growth. Most people avoid suffering for their whole lives, avoid growth, avoid looking at themselves. I do that too. This book encourage me to rethink aspects of my life, and consider ways I could pursue anew a path of suffering which leads to growth.
I particularly enjoyed his treatisies on listening. I've read some of his thoughts on this before, but I needed to be reminded. About what it means to listen. About how to listen better. About how often I am thinking about what I am going to say next, and the impact I am having, and my interaction, rather than fully and completely engaging myself with the other, putting myself within the other, to bless the person I am communicating with. And so I've been trying to do that these last few days. And it's still hard work.
Much of this book is written as the final hurrah of a life of contemplation. His stories of his time with his wife are particularly beneficial, as Peck shares about what he has learned from his wife, and what they have learned together, as they have pursued a path of active growth together.
A downside though to this approach of putting in a lifetime of thoughts into a final book is that many times, it seems that Peck is simply referencing every book, quite overtly, that he's ever written. At times, it feels like he's trying to get the reader to buy more of his books. A better editor to discourage him from this approach would have been helpful.
I left this book wanting to follow Peck's suggestions. To remember that life does not conform to myself, and release any expectation that it should. To release the expectation that I can do all things for myself. I appreciated Peck's corrective from The Road Less Traveled, where he gave great support for independence. Here, Peck reminds people of a higher road of interdependence- which means a lot harder work of giving up one's "right" to do things for oneself. It's all about a process of death- for we begin dying the moment we're born. And every giving up is a form of death.