Wisdom from The Road Less Traveled

 M. Scott Peck, M.D.

Wisdom From The Road Less Traveled

“What are these tools, these techniques of suffering, the means of experiencing the pain of problems constructively that I call discipline?  There are four: delaying gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to truth, and balancing” (28-29).


“That is to say that we must always hold truth, as best as we can determine it, to be more important, more vital to our self-interest, than our comfort” (46).


“All of us have desires to be babied, to be nurtured without effort on our parts, to be cared for by persons stronger than us who have our interests truly at heart.  No matter how strong we are, no matter how caring and responsible and adult, if we look clearly into ourselves we will find the wish to be taken care of for a change. . . . But for most of us, these desires or feelings do not rule our lives; they are not the predominant theme of our existence” (73-74).


“Love is not simply giving; it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well. It is judicious praising and judicious criticizing. It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing, and pulling, in addition to comforting” (79-80).


“Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional.  The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love.  This person has made a commitment to be loving whether or not the loving feeling is present.  If it is, so much the better; but if it isn’t, the commitment to love, the will to love, still stands and is still exercised” (85-86).


“It is through love that we elevate ourselves.  And it is through our love for others that we assist others to elevate themselves.  Love, the extension of the self, is the very act of evolution.  It is evolution in progress” (188).


“When we teach ourselves and our children discipline, we are teaching them and ourselves how to suffer and also how to grow” (20).


“We live our lives in a real world.  To live them well it is necessary that we come to understand the reality of the world as best we can.  But such understanding does not come easily.  Many aspects of the reality of the world and of our relationship to the world are painful to us.  We can understand them only through effort and suffering” (238-239).