Monday, May 10, 2010

Given the utter mess my life is in right now, I was rightly reminded of one of the wonderful men who endured enormous woes, Victor Frankl. Frank wrote some memorable lines in his Man's Search for Meaning. Frankl, an intern at the Auschwitz concentration camp, found meaning amid monumental despair and here are some memorable lines from him...

"...for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth -- that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honorable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment."

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Frankl survived and lived well more than 50 years after he published this book in 1946. I too have some hope nonetheless.

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