Choose how you respond

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The Human Search for Meaning

He who has a Why to live for
can bear almost any How.”
— Nietzsche

“Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, is best known for his 1946 memoir Man’s Search for Meaning. The book sheds light on the horrible experiences of Auschwitz and what they taught him about life, love, and our search for meaning. When all seems hopeless, why is it that some people push forward while others subside.

I know some people who probably wouldn’t survive more than a day without their iPhone let alone having everything in their life that could possibly be taken ripped away. If Frankl’s experience is indicative, when this happens we eventually seek peace within ourselves. If only to retreat from the terrible surroundings. …

Frankl’s most enduring insight is that no matter what is taken from you, you have the freedom to choose how you respond to the situation.

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.

There is always choices to make. These choices allowed Frankl and others to avoid becoming ‘the plaything of circumstance.'”


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