Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
An excerpt from the poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
I always thought the title of this book was taken from the poem, above. After some research, it seems I was not the only one. <<< That’s only one link. I could share any one of 1,250,000 more! For crying out loud!
By the by, I’m kind of embarrassed about it, now that I’ve been properly shamed by the internet. Sheesh!
Also, as an aside… I can understand why it happened. “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference” is a perfect description of why it seems apropos.
So, get off my back, online strangers!
In 1978, Dr. Peck began his book with three words that would change the self-help landscape…
Life is difficult.
You can stop reading now. That’s the whole book. Except, of course, it’s not. However, it *is* considered to be “The Great Truth”.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D. is life-changing. Just grabbing onto that first sentence and remembering it can be life-changing… because (indeed!) life actually IS difficult.
While many of the books I’ve highlighted (so far) have made far-reaching promises of healing and encouragement, this book does nothing of the kind. The first sentence sets the tone for the rest of the book. What is the tone? Realistic.
Broken into sections (Discipline, Love, Growth and Religion [yes, together in one section] and Grace) this is the kind of self-help book that appealed to the kinds of people who would normally not touch (flaky, silly, namby-pamby) self-help books with a ten-foot pole. And yet, it appealed to a wide swath of readers, searchers, and students.
This is a book that’s sold over 10,000,000 copies and has stood the test of time.
Peck died in 2005 but this (I would argue his most famous work) lives on in perpetuity. If you get the chance, take a peek at his obit, which I linked. I was – quite frankly – shocked.
Is the book still timely? Yes.
It does get a little heavy-handed religiously – is that a word? Right context? Ugh, I hate when the whole world stops while I figure this stuff out! – and also, as may be totally obvious to you, it’s not a light read nor one that invites into a happy circle of hand-holding Kumbaya-ers. I read it years ago and aside from quoting the first line (oh, about a bazillion times) I never went back to it. Also, I didn’t read any of his other books except Further Along the Road Less Traveled… and that was only because I’d read the first book.
Thinking back, I think it’s because I didn’t like him. I appreciated him… and his viewpoint… but something icky seemed to seep through, at least in my mind. I may be blowing smoke out my hiney, too. I do that sometimes. I think I’m so smart when in fact, it’s just with the benefit of hindsight that I figured it out. Blah, blah, blah. Ugh.
So, if you want something REAL… and more than a little religious at times… read this book. There is some really good stuff in here. Some crud, too. But the good outweighs the bad, for sure!
*Originally written by me for this blog on July 25, 2018