Before there were dysfunctional families, I came from one. My professional life hasn’t been disappointing –- far from it –- but the truly gratifying unfolding has been into the person I’ve slowly become: comfortable, joyful, connected and effective. Since it wasn’t widely available then, I hadn’t read that children’s classic, The Velveteen Rabbit, which tells how connectedness is something we must let happen to us, and then we become solid and whole.
As that tale recounts tenderly, only love can make us real. Denied this in boyhood for reasons I now understand, it took me years to tap substitute sources. What seems marvelous is how many there are and how restorative they prove. What durable and pliable creatures we are, and what a storehouse of goodwill lurks in the social fabric. . . . I never dreamed my later years would be so stimulating and rewarding.
(Quoted from page 49 of Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study, by George E. Vaillant. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.)
For a biographical sketch of Godfrey Minot Camille, click here.
For information on the Harvard Grant Study, click here.
To learn about The Velveteen Rabbit, click here.
For a brief biography of George E. Vaillant, click here. For images of or relating to George E. Vaillant, click here.