The Road Less Travelled is one of my all time favourite books. I initially bought it as a joke – it was one of those books that you see celebs reading when they are trying to look like they are taking time out to get their lives together. Geri Halliwell photographed next to a pool reading it, etc.
So I bought it for $2 in an american bargain bookshop, and within half a page I was hooked. Peck’s basic premise that life is difficult, and so much of our mental anguish comes from the feeling that ‘it’s not fair’. If we only realised that being human was about dealing with those obstacles and difficulties, we’d be a lot more happy and productive.
A really simple thought, but a deeply profound one. The follow up book is perhaps even better – Further Along The Road Less Travelled – between the first and second volumes, Peck converted to Christianity, but must’ve pissed off a lot of conservative christians with his unorthodox take on the faith. This too I found profoundly inspiring.
Obviously I never got to meet him – nor did most of the millions of people who read his books, erroneously labeled as ‘self help’ (as Hugo points out, ‘his later work is filled with the notion that our transformation does happen not only through our own efforts (“self-help”) but in partnership with God and our community.’) I wish I had met him, I’m sure he was a fascinating bloke. I’d liked to have had the chance to thank him for his books, for taking the time to write them. there are probably loads of people out there with thoughts that could change my life, but most of them don’t get round to writing them down. He did, and for that, I’m grateful.
Fair-well, Scott (M. Scott? or just M.? Scott, I think).by
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