chapter  13
12 Pages


The preceding quotes, in a pithy way, tell what this final part of the book is about. This section takes as its thesis the idea that we can grow and enhance our close relationships mainly to the extent that we have personally grown and developed as mature human beings. This conception pertains to a topic that we have implied throughout the book, empowering the self to write his or her own account, which includes Steinbeck’s lines “to grow beyond your work, and charge ahead of your accomplishments.” The whole thrust of this essay is on self-empowerment. As best we can make out from the vast pop psychology literature of our time, self-empowerment is a fancy buzz-phrase, developing in the ’80s and gaining momentum in the ’90s, usually meaning that we should take responsibility for our own lives and not be unduly blown about by winds of change in society, or by the multitude of circumstances that constitute a normal part of life’s progression. Another very positive way of defining this concept is to give power to self as much as possible, rather than accede to the influences of outside forces.