Total Pageviews

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21, 2010. Man's Search for Meaning

"Everything can be taken from a man but ...the last of the human freedoms - to choose
one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." Victor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning.

Victor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. His best-selling book, Man's Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. (Wikipedia)

It isn't the type of book that I ordinarily read. After all it isn't about Baseball, nor written by Philip Roth, but about three years ago a friend recommended it to me. Victor Frankl was an amazing man. His attitude and will to live kept him alive while in a Nazi Concentration camp.

The book, as much as anything else, caused a change in my attitude regarding PD. You might say that I had a catharsis. Frankl survived the Holocaust and lived to write about his experiences. Frankl lost his wife and Parents to the Nazis, yet his attitude favoring living never faltered.

There I was, ignoring my business, not appreciating my wife and being an all around bore.

This wonderful man, who had been dead for 10 years, reached me as I'm sure he had reached many during his lifetime,
He taught me that I was still alive, that I was still vital and that there was plenty to feel good about, He gave me back my sense of humor.

So I have a neurological disease. From time to time I might be uncomfortable. But feeling sorry for myself doesn't help. It makes every day a drudgery. It makes people not want to be with you. If Victor Frankl can find reason to carry on in a Concentration camp, I can find it with a tremor.

No comments:

Post a Comment