Peck’s A World Waiting to Be is an important book. No doubt about that. As always, this man makes a great contribution in speaking his mind and dissecting and explaining the woes of the world. Still, there is some contradictions and confusions in this book that lessen its value. The book is still important, but there are some things to know from the start before you open that first page. It is with this that I warn potential readers….The Author’s Purpose in Question“An illness is abroad in the land.” The world is at the apex of a crisis, where incivility reigns. Peck makes this broad statement known from the very beginning of the book, thus influencing the tone the rest of the book takes. Altogether more aggressive than his well-known and acclaimed Road Less Traveled, Peck’s A World Waiting to Be Born is almost a survival guide and a tactical plan for living and combating a world wrought with incivility.Throughout the book, Peck emphasizes that his purpose in writing his book was to get readers to surmise their own definition of civility. It is possible that, in doing so, Peck made one of the biggest contractions of all in his book. Of course, no one is required to follow anything they read in books, yet Peck constructs the novel in such a way that it becomes more of a tool to follow his own version of civility rather than to guide readers in developing their own definition. If Peck had hoped for individualized definitions of civility to flourish among his readers, why did he devote most of his pages to exposition on how to advance in his definition of civility? Why did he use such words as “impertinent” and “necessary” towards his own definition, if he were not trying to push it forward? No doubt, Peck’s grand call to civility is admirable, regardless of his intentions. Still, more clarity and balance needs to be given to this issue, and readers should be forewarned of even the own unintentional and unwitting machinations of the author himself. As Peck himself points out, civility in some cases should not give way to a compromise of one’s convictions. Here, then, is the import of devising your own definition of civility, independent of Peck’s provisions. Every situation is unique, and it is with this in mind that readers should apply the tools Peck so graciously offers us.God and Her PurposesWhile Peck’s book is replete with academic citations and statistics, his religious beliefs certainly shine through, and he brings out various disclaimers for them throughout the book (like the fact that he refers to God as a “she” at various points). Unusual, indeed, especially since I cannot for once in my various readings of this book figure out exactly what religious derivations he may be writing from. The various convictions and contradictions that follow his religious disclaimers can be smoothed over in readers’ minds to some extent, though sometimes his claims are held up solely by this mysterious religious foundation of Holy Spirit and other convictions. These latter claims are the hardest to swallow, and have caused me to (unfairly) question the worth of a book as a whole.Still, despite this, I have learned a valuable lesson from my reading that was never so obviously noticeable before: Just because it’s published, that doesn’t mean it is always accurate, understandable, or superior. Indeed, when Peck isn’t confusing readers with his religious convictions and the reasoning that they support, Peck pushes readers to their own empowerment.The Power is Yours!Captain Planet? Hardly. Peck isn’t one to fly around with his environmentally sound cohorts ridding the world of incivility. However, even when he’s pushing his version of civility on us, or telling us what is true and good, he empowers his readers. Indeed, he states that we are, to some extent, slaves of our unconscious mind (he also calls this the “Holy Spirit”), which is “always one step ahead of the conscious mind in the right or the wrong direction”. Still, this does not mean that civility is failing because only the unconscious mind is in control, or always going in the wrong direction. Peck believes that the cure for this civility comes from developing personal definitions of civility (ahem), and making sure that all people have a “conscious intention [or] awareness” towards civility. He does not doubt the existence of people capable of controlling their lives and bringing positive influence to themselves and others, and this is where the power of the book, and its readership, lies.By the way, for a less confusing, more basic look at the world through Peck's eyes, try his tried and true Road Less Traveled. It is sure to change anyone who reads it.