Sixty years of the work of Leston Havens is available in this section of the site divided into the following categories; Books, Overviews, Community Health, Research, Interviewing Methods and Teaching. Each topic contains links in PDF, audio, and video formats.
Leston Havens, M.D. 2003, excerpted from original website statement:
Recently I have been reflecting on the following: a way of looking at life, people, a way to think about understanding each other and making a difference in each others’ lives, whether you are a doctor, lawyer or Indian chief, a fireman, policewoman, mother, father, or the new manager of the Red Sox.
What I want to suggest is that the two principal experiences between people are of similarities and differences. How do we enjoy not only our similarities but our differences? How do we acknowledge, even confirm and respect, our differences?
First, we must overcome our surprise at the differences. In fact nothing should be less surprising, in view of how we are constituted. Note that we even have differences within ourselves, which are also experienced as conflicts. Then, like good scientists and humanists, we need to experiment with taking the different other’s point of view, like the part of ourselves we object to. We may even need to practice taking the other’s point of view in difficult experiences like marriage. Such practitioners will often be astonished how lives are thus opened up to one another. The same is true clinically, especially with paranoid and grandiose individuals.
The final question could be: is there anything else? Passion, of course;security, too. But these are generally transitory and often disappointing. Virtue appeals to many but so often it goes unrewarded, even by the possibility of heaven. So exploration could be the most dependable ideal, and respectful exploration perhaps the largest virtue of them all.
The purpose is to construct livable lives and to share them, especially with those we love.