Imagine being treated in the most inhumane way, yet still finding the courage to continue on each day with the hope of helping to encourage others and fulfill your purpose in life.
In his classic book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl does exactly that. He gives us a detailed account of his experience in concentration camps in the 1940’s, which was beyond devastating.
Just a little background…prisoners in Nazi concentration camps were beaten, tortured, forced to work in extreme weather conditions with little clothing or protection from the elements, separated from their families, given very little food (if any at all), and murdered.
An unfathomable experience…
The details are too painful to discuss here but Mr. Frankl overcame the devastation in an amazing way. He was able to recognize that even this type of suffering had a meaning. There were times when he provided psychological and emotional support to other prisoners, in spite of what he was going through…explaining that we must try to focus on what life is asking of us, not the other way around.
He says that his experiences in the camps as well as observing others, proves that human beings have a choice of action, even in the face of adversity.
This leads to his discussion on logotherapy. Logotherapy basically helps a person to see things from a wider perspective, which helps him/her become aware of an entire spectrum of possible meaning.
I think this is huge because within our struggles, we tend to see things solely from our perspective and potentially suffer more when we don’t see a “reason” for those struggles.
Sometimes what we go through, is not necessarily a learning lesson for us, but instead, for another person or persons. For example, maybe spending so many years in a wheelchair has not been to teach me a lesson but to help others appreciate their abilities more? At the same time, it has helped me to appreciate my abilities more.
The key is how we react to a situation.
At the end of the book, Mr. Frankl explains that “Man’s Search for Meaning” should rest in finding purpose in what life is expecting from us, right here, right now.
This would be a great discussion to have…so hit the comments below! What is life asking of you?
Thank you for reading today!
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