Dear Inner Circle,

As a young man, I liked to think I was pretty bright. In my mid-twenties my head was awash with Freud, Ellis, Berne and the like. I wanted to serve people well but in the process I ran a solo commentary on how the world worked. I look back in horror and embarrassment at my pretentious twenty-something self. Knowledge comes through books but wisdom comes through pain.

In the little town of Waikerie, South Australia, I ran a visiting service for a government department whose primary responsibility was child protection. The office I used had no receptionist and no telephone; just a sign on the door to say that I’d be there on Fridays. No one had thought of mobile phones in those days. I started each visit with a full waiting room and I’d work until everyone had gone. They were often long days with no way for me to make enquiries for people or ask for help when my way got difficult.

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