Morgan Scott Peck (May 22, 1936 – September 25, 2005) was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author, best known for his first book, The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978.
Peck was born in New York City, the son of Elizabeth (née Saville) and David Warner Peck, an attorney and judge. Peck was raised a Protestant (his paternal grandmother was from a Jewish family, but Peck's father did not identify himself as a Jew). His parents sent him to the prestigious boarding school Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, when he was 13. In his book, The Road Less Traveled, he confides the story of his brief stay at Exeter, and admits that it was a most miserable time. Finally, at age 15, during the spring holiday of his third year, he came home and refused to return to the school, whereupon his parents sought psychiatric help for him and he was (much to his amusement in later life) diagnosed with depression and recommended for a month's stay in a psychiatric hospital (unless he chose to return to school). He graduated from Friends Seminary in 1954, after which he received a BA from Harvard in 1958, and an MD degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1963. He served in administrative posts in the government during his career as a psychiatrist. He also served in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. His Army assignments included stints as chief of psychology at the Army Medical Center in Okinawa, Japan, and assistant chief of psychiatry and neurology in the office of the surgeon general in Washington, D.C. He was the Medical Director of the New Milford Hospital Mental Health Clinic and a psychiatrist in private practice in New Milford, Connecticut. His first and best-known book, The Road Less Traveled, has sold more than ten million copies.
Peck's works combined his experiences from his private psychiatric practice with a distinctly religious point of view. In his second book, People of the Lie, he wrote, "After many years of vague identification with Buddhist and Islamic mysticism, I ultimately made a firm Christian commitment – signified by my non-denominational baptism on the ninth of March 1980..." (Peck, 1983/1988, p11). One of his views was that people who are evil attack others rather than face their own failures...
Quotes by M Scott Peck
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.
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