12 June 2010

Meaning

Books are amazing in their ability to educate and transport. A truly gratifying experience is when I return to the same book and gain a different meaning or gift from that time spent re-turning the pages. I can't predict when I will pick up a book I've read, because there are so many to be read.

I am uncertain as to why I chose to pick up Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search for Meaning again. Perhaps, it was because I knew I would not have time for anything but work and needed some inspiration to remind me of my higher pursuits, that being time for writing and creativity or maybe, it was that I am a time in my life where I am thinking about where I am I going? Not certain,but I am better for having pulled it off the shelf.

Mr. Frankl was neurologist, a psychologist and a survivor of the Holocaust. When I first read Mr. Frankl's book I was 19 and it was part of a literature course syllabus. My focus at that time was his survival of the Holocaust and his ability to overcome the loss of his parents, his wife and their unborn child. At 19, the thought of losing everything and everyone was incomprehensible. When he wrote this book, he was trying to regain the life and book he had lost before the camps. Frankl was in four. With his writing, he was very concerned about mentioning the Holocaust and his experiences, not wanting it to be about his singular experience but rather all who had survived. Frankl, however, realized without this discussion he could not make clear his ultimate belief about man's ability to find meaning in life's existence.

So, now some thirty years later, I understand it is about the why. Frankl believed and counseled people about the why we survive and how. It is because we have a goal, a hope and therefore, can survive anything once we recognize that one thing. It could be as simple as a flower in a meadow, work that is important, family,an interest in art or music.

At a particularly dark time in my life, I told a dear friend who questioned my state, "I would find happiness anywhere." Meaning whatever life sent me I somehow found a way to see a flower in the meadow or the kindness in another soul's heart. I have and never will let negativity grab hold of me. I shake and fight it off, keeping my eye on the wonder of life, whether it be Mr. Jackson, my family, my friends, Max or just a flower in the field.

Perhaps, I didn't miss Frankl's point after all. My hope going forward is the ability to connect and create with an understanding of the past and an eye on the future.

6 comments:

joanny said...

Beautifully written -- a truly wonderful message you give us this day with your writing. Very inspiring and reminds one to keep a balanced simple life and be thankful.

I use to work with Senior citizens working and preserving their memoir's and this one gentlemen was a Holocaust survivor -- however his whole family did not make it -- as I was making colored copies of the letters with the stamp marks on it from Auschwitz and other concentration camps - his family was suppose to be released and it was the end of the war but they killed them any way --like you I was impressed with this man's resilient nature -- he was a very positive person and had a good life here in the States and was always filled with gratitude.
Another book you may like I have it featured on my blog -- about a blind man who survived the camps but his story was unique for he saw the 'light' of the creator and helped others during this time- a true story and very inspiring. " And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Resistance-- author
Jacques Lusseyran

Brian Miller said...

i think that is a great goal...and books are amazing...they touch my life all the time...

C.M. Jackson said...

Thanks Joanny for your kind words and additional reading suggestion--I will add to my reading list! Have a wonderful weekend.

C.M. Jackson said...

brian--I hope to add one of your books to my reading list! Enjoy the weekend!

Lorenzo said...

If you can find happiness anywhere, you are certainly more likely to find it everywhere. Have you seen these bit of Frankl's 1972 talk on Ted Talks (http://www.ted.com/talks/viktor_frankl_youth_in_search_of_meaning.html)?

tattytiara said...

Frankl's book has been on my reading list for years. I really have to shift it's priority up. One of those things you know you're going to be glad you read.

Just toddled over from Brian's. Love your banner image!

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