weekly blog--one for the ages
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian-born Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist who witnessed the atrocities at Auschwitz first hand. He wrote about his experience in a book called Man’s Search for Meaning. With the CoVid pandemic taking hold, his recommendations for leading a fulfilling life are all the more relevant. The bottom line: each person is responsible for answering for his own life and must actualize its meaning.
There are three ways to do so:
Love…No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being without love, which empowers us to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, we see their potential, even if it is not actualized yet.
Suffering…Finding meaning in life when confronted with a hopeless situation; when facing a fate which cannot be changed; transforming a personal tragedy into a triumph, turning a predicament into human achievement. What matters is to make the best of any situation.
Happiness…Happiness can’t be pursued; it must ensue. We must have a reason to be happy. Once the reason is found, we become happy automatically. For example, if you want someone to laugh, you need to provide a reason, e.g. tell a joke. Learn more about the Science of Happiness.
Choice…We constantly make choices. At any moment, we must decide, for better or worse, what will be the monument of our existence. Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.
Change…Every one has the freedom to change at any instant. The freedom to change requires being responsible.
Conscience…Indicates the direction in which we have to move in a given life situation. In order to carry out a task, conscience must apply a measuring stick to the situation we are confronted with, and this situation has to be evaluated in the light of a set of criteria based on a hierarchy of values. These values cannot be exposed and adopted by us on a conscious level—they are something that we are; something that has become clearer in the course of the evolution of humankind. They are founded on our biological past and are rooted in our biological depth.