A World Waiting to be Born: Civility Rediscovered

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Bantam Books, 1993 - Self-Help - 366 pages
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M. Scott Peck is known for the profound psychological and spiritual journey on which he has guided millions of readers in his earlier bestselling books. A WORLD WAITING TO BE BORN is his long-awaited major new work of nonfiction, and it brings us the most urgent messages and the most important guidance toward change Dr. Peck has ever offered. We are a deeply ailing society. Our illness is incivility, by which Dr. Peck means conduct far more serious than a want of politeness - and going back in time much further than the blatantly gluttonous 1980s. Morally destructive patterns of self-absorption, callousness, manipulativeness, and materialism are so ingrained in our routine behavior that we often do not recognize them. In multiple ways we engage in subtle forms of unconscious hurtfulness toward ourselves and others - ways that have come to be accepted as the norm in American society. Yet there is a growing awareness that something is seriously wrong. If one of the many powerful themes in this book is that civil behavior has largely vanished from our lives - between individuals, in marriage and family life, in the workplace, and in organizations and businesses - another theme is that change is not only possible, it is achievable. We can learn to restore civility to ourselves and our institutions. We can make the spiritual commitment that is a cornerstone of civility. We have the power and the knowledge to become a truly civil society. This book slows us how. Using examples from his own life, case histories of patients who sought his psychiatric counsel, and dramatic scenarios of businesses that have made a conscious decision to bring civility to their organizations, Dr. Peck demonstrateswhere we have gone wrong and how change can be effected. The process is likely to be painful - change hurts - but without change there is no growth, and without growth we are half alive. Dr. Peck offers a concrete, step-by-step program to restore our organizations and ourselves to health. The key to generating organizational health is developing community, which, like civility itself, is an explicit concept with explicit components including spiritual commitment. This wise, radical, and practical book is a blueprint for change - for individuals, partners in marriage, parents, managers, and corporations themselves. Indeed, Dr. Peck proposes that restoring our institutions to civility may create the brightest prospects for both our personal and our societal well-being.

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Contents

Selves and Systems
15
The Hole in the Mind
29
Enter God Stage Left
43
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

M. Scott Peck was born on May 22, 1936 in New York City. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and was attending Middlebury College before being expelled for refusing to attend mandatory R.O.T.C. sessions. He transferred to Harvard University, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1958, and then received a medical degree in 1963 from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He was a psychiatrist in the United States Army for nearly 10 years, was the director of the New Milford Hospital Mental Health Clinic, and worked in a private psychiatric practice in Connecticut. In 1984, he helped establish the Foundation for Community Encouragement, whose mission is to promote and teach the principles of Community. He was among the founding fathers of the self-help genre of books. His works include The Road Less Traveled, Further Along the Road Less Traveled, The Road Less Traveled and Beyond, People of the Lie, and The Different Drum. He also wrote a novel entitled A Bed by the Window. He received the 1984 Kaleidoscope Award for Peacemaking, the 1994 Temple International Peace Prize, and the Learning, Faith and Freedom Medal from Georgetown University in 1996. He died from complications of pancreatic and liver duct cancer on September 25, 2005 at the age of 69.

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