July 30th #chinadiary (final entry)

Carl's final journal entry is perhaps the closest we get to an overall reflection on his six months travel away from his American homeland (despite his intention to find time for one more entry with his reactions on getting home). Given all that we know about Carl Rogers' life and work after this trip, the entry is not so revealing. Rather it shows that he is still processing his experience:
Although I haven't accomplished so very much that can be seen, yet the trip has been one of the most productive weeks that I have spend away from home. In the first place, I have been thinking over, talking over, and meditating over my experiences and impressions of China and the East. 
He is also still contemplating his own connection to the kind of religious and missionary work he has been exploring on the trip, although concluding that "nine-tenths of our work looks utterly futile when one gets away and gets a chance to look at it from a distance."

He states categorically what his main job will be on his return, which is to make men thoroughly uncomfortable, "to drag them out and make them think." Well, Carl, you made and still make me think and I'm grateful for it.

I finish my own exploration of Carl's China Diary with his incidental mention of "just three little things" that he wants to do - "just three things, and if I can do them they will really count for something, but I'm not even telling now what they are." We will never know what three things the young Carl Rogers had in mind, but here's three incredible things that he did:
  1. reject behavioural and psycho-analytical approaches in psychology
  2. develop the person-centred approach in psychotherapy and counselling
  3. promote wider applications of the person-centred approach, including in education and conflict-resolution. 
I, for one, am grateful. 


  1. Mmm I wonder what the three things were, as you say we will never know. I like the reference to "little things" "little things ...which count for something" ...nothing MAJOR /MASSIVE just "little things" that make a difference, this for me is the beauty of the approach.... thanks Bill for bringing the Diary to life with your reflections.


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