Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Man's Search for Meaning

This is for you *Louise* Has anyone else read this book>?

When I was going through a bad time in my life (and I mean really bad) my best friend gave me this book to read. I was suffering from depression and I drove myself crazy by going over and over the meaning of my life. I was constantly looking back at my past (all the things that had gone wrong in my life) and reflecting on my unknown future (and what I presumed would be a terrible future) that lay ahead of me.
My friend is an honours psychology student. I knew this book was special as it was her favourite. (and like me, Amy reads ALOT of books).
The book is a memoir about Viktor Frankl a psychiatrist who laboured in four different camps, including Auschwitz. Most of his family members and friends died, he was a slave to the Nazi's and endured the meaning of 'hell on earth' on a daily basis. He not only lived to tell his story but did so much more. > He created logotherapy (a form of psychotherapy but better much better).
"Man can endure any how as long as he has a why ..." ie: Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.
How amazing is this! Even though Frankl was living in a Nazi concentration camp (for years mind you) he found the strength oustide of himself to keep going. 'Man chooses his own attitude toward adversity and, in so doing, transcends life's inevitable suffering.' ie: You can only suffer if you choose to. It's all psychological, so it's your choice. If you are suffering, find meaning in your suffering so you can set it free. ie: Frankl chose 'not to give in' and 'not to suffer'. Instead he found meaning in his suffering, and thus decided to 'pull himself together' to benefit those around him in the camps (to give them abit of courage to go on) and live so that he may one day tell his story to inspire others!

Totally awesome! One of the best books I have ever read!