12 June 2010
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.