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M. Scott Peck, M.D. “One wise hombre…”

I was cleaning out my wallet last night and came upon something kind of cool. Do you ever write yourself inspirational notes and place them in assorted locations? Well, I did.

Crammed inside a credit card slot was a folded index card I’d placed there six years ago. It came from M. Scott Peck’s classic, The Road Less Traveled.

Here’s what I’d written…

The symptoms and the illness are not the same thing. The illness exists long before the symptoms. Rather than being the illness, the symptoms are the beginning of its cures. The fact that they are unwanted makes them all the more a phenomenon of grace – a gift of God, a message from the unconscious, if you will to initiate self-examination and repair.

Bammo! Is that mighty, or what?

I mean, where do I start in terms of commentary? Frankly, I don’t want to risk in any manner tainting the wisdom. It’s plenty strong enough to stand on its own.

I will, however,  say I remember the exact circumstances six years ago that led to reading The Road Less Traveled (again), had the piece catch my eye, and made it meaningful enough to jot down and place in my wallet.

Tell me, have you ever hurt so badly, and longed for relief so much, you did something similar?

What a glorious morsel of hope and comfort Peck shares with us. How ‘bout it? “Rather than being the illness, the symptoms are the beginning of its cures.” And then to continue by proposing symptoms are “a phenomenon of grace.” I can remember the great thaw I experienced when I read those words six years ago. And I gotta’ tell ya’…they feel pretty warm and fuzzy even now.

Of course, as with anything worthwhile, Peck slides in a bit of a catch. Go back and re-read the final phrase that begins with “…if you will…” Ah, “if.” What’s the old saying? “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas.”

Still…do you have the will? ‘Cause if you don’t the rest of the piece is meaningless.

All those years ago I totally bought-in to Peck’s wisdom, as I do to this very day.

We really need your comments here. What are your feelings and thoughts?

  • karen

    as usual, a great post. in essence, the serenity prayer–which is my first prayer in the morning. (and usually i don’t change the last sentence to the wisdom to hide the bodies of those who pissed me off) :)

    • Bill

      You are too funny! Thanks for the props. It’s amazing how stuff comes out of thin air to write about. And they make for the best posts. Good luck with your studies today!