Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward

Co-authors of Born to Win: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments

"It takes courage to experience the freedom that comes with autonomy, courage to accept intimacy and directly encounter other persons, courage to take a stand in an unpopular cause, courage to choose authenticity over approval and to choose it again and again, courage to accept the responsibility for your own choices, and, indeed, courage to be the unique person you really are."

"The words "winner" and "loser" have many meanings. When we refer to a person as a winner, we do not mean one who makes someone else lose. To us, a winner is one who responds authentically by being credible, trustworthy, responsive, and genuine, both as an individual and as a member of a society. A loser is one who fails to respond authentically. Martin Buber makes this distinction as he re- tells the old story of the rabbi who, on his deathbed, is asked if he is ready for the world to come. The rabbi says yes. After all, he will not be asked, "Why were you not Moses?" He will only be asked, "Why were you not yourself?""

"People suffer under the illusion of autonomy if they think they have changed their script, but in reality have changed only the set- ting, characters, costumes, etc., not the essence of the drama. For example, a person who is Parent programmed to be an evangelist may join the drug scene and then with religious zeal evangelize others into following. Choosing the setting for evangelizing may give the person the illusion of freedom when actually the enslavement to parental instructions has only been disguised."

"Each human being is born as something new, something that never existed before. Each is born with the capacity to win at life. Each person has a unique way of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and thinking. Each has his or her own unique potentials -- capabilities and limitations. Each can be a significant, thinking, aware, and creative being -- a productive person, a winner."

"People often feel unable to get out of a distasteful or unhappy situa- tion. They assume they are trapped in a job, in a community, in a marriage, family, or a way of life. They do not see the alternatives of looking for a new job or improving the one they have, of moving out of the community, of changing their marriage patterns, of break- ing off a relationship, or of loving and disciplining their children more effectively. They limit their perception of the problem, not seeing possible options or an obvious solution. They use one narrow approach and repeat this approach over and over even though it obviously does not resolve or change the situation."

"Every person has the need to be touched and to be recognized by other people, and every person has the need to do something with the time between birth and death. These are biological and psycho- logical needs that Berne calls "hungers.""

"Infants will not grow normally without the touch of others."

"Children are born capable of all feelings, ranging from affection to rage. In the beginning they respond genuinely with how they feel -- screaming, cooing, cuddling. In due time, however, children adapt their feelings according to their experiences. For example, children are naturally cuddly, yet can learn to become rigid and to withdraw in fear when someone approaches the crib. Children naturally seek pleasure over pain, yet can adapt to seek pain, even death. Children are naturally self-centered, yet can learn to feel guilty about wanting anything for themselves. Children are not born with their feelings already programmed toward objects and people. Each child learns toward whom and what to show affection. Each learns toward whom and about what to feel guilty. Each learns whom and what to fear. Each learns whom and what to hate."

"Parents establish an emotional climate which, like atmospheric climate, is warm or cold, mild or harsh, conducive or destructive to growth. Parents give their children firm but tender, loving care through positive strokes, thus encouraging constructive scripts. Or, they discount them, thus encouraging destructive or nonproductive scripts. The best thing parents can do for their children is to evaluate their own script and then decide whether it is worth passing on to another generation."