"The Road Less Traveled" Essay

1675 words - 7 pages

Book Review"The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Tradition Values and Spiritual Growth".Author: M. Scott PeckYear: 1985Publisher: Simon and Schuster, New YorkIn his book, M Scott Peck addresses critical issues of life, love and facing and resolving our problems. He begins the book with a line that jolts the reader even at first glance. It reads "life is difficult". I thought "how true". This statement created a catalyst for me wanting to read further. The book is written in a systematic way and addresses a number of issues we face as individuals. The first chapter speaks intensively about discipline and the lack there of and how becoming better disciplined we can enhance our lives. The greater points of this chapter will be dealt with later in this paper.The second chapter, and rightly so, speaks of love for example agape, phillo and eros. I believe there can be no discipline without love, and no love without discipline. Both are enjoined and go hand in hand. For the purpose of this paper only these two chapters will be dealt with.Peck describes discipline as "the basic set of tools we require to solve life's problems". He makes the point that without discipline we can solve nothing and in contrast discipline enables us to solve the most complex problems. He goes on to state that this 'lack of discipline' has caused people generally to avoid problems, maybe in an effort to let them go away rather than dealing with them. This (avoiding) leads to one becoming frustrated, sad, lonely, guilty or even angry. This Scott feels is the "primary basis of all human mental illness. This would mean, if accepted as true, all of us humans suffer for some mental defect with some of us being worst than some. To overcome this he states that we must undergo some level of suffering. As a matter of fact suffering is necessary if we are to grow.Scott then goes on to list four tools/techniques that must be utilized if we are to suffer "effectively" and grow. These are delaying of gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to truth and balancing. He goes on to expound on each of these and dedicates the rest of the first chapter to this. As Scoot psycho-analyzes in the book he goes back to our parents and even to the time we are totally dependent on them, this section he titles "sins of the father". Here he speaks of undisciplined, parents lacking the discipline to properly punish and guide their children resulting in the children themselves becoming undisciplined. The book goes on to list various sub-sections that deals directly with obstacles to our growth. Because of the scope of this paper these will only be briefly mentioned. Problem solving time- this speaks to our inability to attack our problems rationally. And also that we sometimes leave or avoid our problems in a hope that it will fix itself. Responsibility - Scott begins this section with the statement, "we cannot solve life's problem except by solving them". But to solve problems...

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