I just finished reading the book titled A Way of Being by Carl Rogers. Carl Rogers was an influential American psychologist who began publishing work in 1930 and continued until the publication of this book in 1980. This book is a sum total of what Carl Rogers learned about people in his career as a psychologist. He writes about the human character in total and what it looks like when it is functioning at its best. What I like about his writing is I feel that I can trust him. He writes about a topic that he has had direct experience with for over 50 years. I recommend this book for anybody interested in human nature.
Throughout the book, Rogers describes many facets of people's personalities and many character traits that he consistently sees in his work with people. He talks about what it truly means to listen to someone openly. He talks about interpersonal relationships and the effect that real, true connection has on people. He includes letters written to him from former high school students that he impacted. He talks about how important it is to be present, open and listening to people. He talks about the fact that it is so rare for people to come across somebody that really, genuinely listens and accepts their ideas that when they do experience the connection of that type of person, the impact lasts a lifetime.
My favorite parts of the book was where Rogers predicts what the person of the future will have to be like in order to thrive in the changing world we live in. He calls it the person of tomorrow. He describes them as being opposed by the conventional world. "The new person has been and will be harassed, denied freedom of expression, accused of conspiracy, imprisoned for unwillingness to conform." He talks about how the person of tomorrow will be ostracized and ejected from local public schools and universities whenever possible. Since the new person puts self realization ahead of achievement, personal growth above salary or profit and cooperation with nature ahead of its conquest, corporations will also be in opposition to this new person. The new person attempts to be a whole person - with body, mind, feelings, spirit, and psychic powers integrated.
Rogers talks about how this new person will thrive in the modern world, despite their opposition. With scientific, social and cultural change blowing strongly, we will need whole persons who are able to adapt to the changes. The fully integrated person of the future, which since this was written in 1980 can be called the present, will be the individuals most suited for their environment, according to Rogers' prediction. He describes a person-centered future, based on the individual being a whole person by itself. The last two sentences of the book sum up his prediction: "We may choose it, but whether we choose it or not, it appears that to some degree it [the person-centered scenario of the future] is inexorably moving to change our culture. And the changes will be in the direction of more humanness."
Carl Rogers (1902- 1987)