By JLP | October 28, 2006
Is there an opening paragraph or two of a particular book that stands out to you? Of all the books I have read, there is one opening passage to one particular book that stood out to me the most. I don’t know why, but for some reason, the opening to M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled really stood out to me the first time I read it:
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.
Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy. They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction tha tshould not be and tha thas somehhow been especially visited upon them, or else upon their families, their tribe, their class, their nation, their race or even their species, and not upon others. I know about this moaning because I have done my share.
Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Do we want to teach our children to solve them?
Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems.
I suppose this stood out to me because I agree with it. I mean, let’s face it, life is difficult. We are kidding ourselves if we think otherwise. Depressing? Maybe a little. But as Dr. Peck says, once we understand that life is difficult it is no longer difficult. In other words, it is all about perception. I think the problem with society is that we go through life thinking that everything should be perfect for us and when we find out that it is not, we find someone to sue.
Anyway, this is my favorite book opening. Now I would like you to share what your’s is. You can leave a comment with your favorite. Or, if you are a blogger, you can post your favorite book opening on your blog, send me a link to it, and I’ll be happy to included it right here on this post.