A WORLD WAITING TO BE BORN by M. Scott Peck

A WORLD WAITING TO BE BORN

Rediscovering Civility
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Peck's megahit, The Road Less Traveled (1978), offered cures for the psychospiritual ills of lone men and women; this does the same for human clusterings, large or small. As Peck (A Bed by the Window, 1990, etc.) sees it, society is an unholy mess. The reason? Loss of ``civility,'' defined as ``consciously motivated organizational behavior''--that is, the ability to behave with attention and love toward other human beings. The solution? Certainly not a ``return to Eden,'' which some seek through drugs or alcohol. Rather, the answer is painful evolution into a higher awareness of self and other. Peck speaks despairingly of the ``hole in the mind,'' which is our propensity to act unconsciously in organizations. To teach us how to plug the hole, Peck makes use of systems theory, management training, lessons drawn from his psychiatric practice and personal life, and heavy doses of religious insight. The bottom line here is God and his unconditional love for all human beings. God exalts us; our job is to accept and work with this elevated status. As individuals, this means finding the right job and doing it well. Peck offers useful advice on both accounts (the best way to husband time, he says, is to spend some of it doing nothing--that is, in prayer and meditation). As for organizational life, this begins for many people with marriage. Echoing the realism he sounded in Road, Peck sees the only good reasons for marriage as kids or ``friction,'' i.e., struggle that leads to new life. Business, too, must be rooted in ethics, in which management styles from authoritarian to consensual have a place. In closing, Peck details the work of his Foundation for Community Encouragement, which holds workshops on community-building in businesses and other organizations. A peck of hardheaded, kindhearted advice; the author's best since Road. (First printing of 100,000)

Pub Date: March 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0-553-09307-X
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993




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