Many people know the writings of Scott Peck, specifically his famous book called, The Road Less Travelled in 1978. You hear frequent paraphrasing from this book all the time, most people not knowing the original source. Every once and a while a thinker will come around that has that kind of profane influence on our society. Peck was a psychiatrist by profession and had great ideas around delayed gratification. He struggled with his own challenges and reflected so in his writings. A quote from his book:
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Because it is in this process of solving problems that life has meaning.
I would like to add to Mr. Peck’s observation. This view that life is difficult and that true living is the process by overcoming that struggle is important to remember. Everyone, including your children, your parents, your enemies and definitely the homeless person digging cans out of your curbside trashcan are experiencing this same struggle. All humans are somewhere along this road, and are all in some current fight. You may not know what that fight is, and if they are winning or losing but this is important to keep in mind. Every person has a difficult road in front of them, and not all react the same way. When viewing people this way, it can help identify the motive and causality behind behavior. People become less irrational by this standard and more understandable.
What is your current battle? Are you winning? How are you acting because of it? Recognize this and your heightened awareness will extend to understanding this same behavior in others.