Search for Meaning
4 years ago during my first Philosophy Class, we were asked to read Viktor Frankl’s book entitled “Man’s Search for Meaning”.
I admit, I didn’t read beyond the pages that were required because back then I only cared to read pages which would help me get a higher grade in my subject.
So to hell with the book I thought to myself. I got an A and that was all I cared about – before.
So 4 years removed from sitting in that airconditioned 6pm class every T-TH, I encounter Viktor Frankl once again as I rummaged for books to read and searched for videos to watch.
In essence the video stresses the importance of believing in people, and that “in taking man as he is we make him worse but if we take man as he should be, then we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”
This time around, I read and watched not because I had a test to answer but because I had “meaning” and “learning” to find. So here I let his quotes do the talking.
Quote # 1: “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how”
Quote # 2: “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”
Quote # 3: “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
Quote # 4: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Quote # 5: “To give light one must endure burning.”
I remember walking in the halls of the University and passing by this bulletin board upon which this quote was posted “He who has a WHY to live can live for almost any HOW. ~ Viktor Frankl” I read that line each time I passed by that board and somehow felt better each passing moment. I hope it’s still there.