Man’s Search for Meaning, Revisited

First reading: May 2014 review

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is part memoir, part manifesto tackling the existential question of human life and why it matters. The message resonates with Frankl’s Yes to Life, but this longer work expands on his points with heartrending examples from his experiences in concentration camps. Though the main focus is valuing one’s own life, the book also challenges us to value other people’s lives, including those of our enemies.

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Quotes from Yes to Life by Viktor Frankl

Thank you to everyone for your kind wishes on my last post and other platforms. It’s truly encouraging. 💛

Resurfacing for a moment, I have some quotes to share from the newly published Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything. It’s the first English translation of some lectures by Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, most known for his book Man’s Search for Meaning.

Later I’d like to film a video with my comments, but for now, here are some things he said that—at the risk of waxing dramatic—I’m turning over in my very soul. Some are things that resonate with me immediately, others are profound question marks that nag and challenge. For context: Frankl was writing this in the mid-1940s, while trying to return to “normal” life in the aftermath of unimaginable pain and loss of his loved ones.

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Following Your Conscience: Václav Havel’s Open Letters – Part 2

Previously: Part 1. If you prefer, there’s also a video version of this review on YouTube. 🙂

Conscience, decency, morality. Over the past decade, politics and social life in the U.S. have grown deeply detached from these values, just as different factions continue to self-divide and become incongruous with each other. It could be argued the two were never married to begin with, but I think many would agree there was a time, not too far back, that ethics and morality were at least paid lip service. It’s 2020 now, and reading Václav Havel’s Open Letters, one feels a sense of loss and even personal failure, being reminded of better things by someone who lived in an even more oppressive atmosphere. It is not all gloom, though. Havel’s encouragement to follow your conscience could be the wake-up call we need.

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Never Powerless: Václav Havel’s Open Letters – Part 1

A kind of bi-polar political thinking is becoming more and more common in today’s politically polarized world…everyone is expected to be unquestionably loyal to the position he belongs to or has been assigned to.

Václav Havel wrote that in 1986. You know I’m not a loud person, but when I read that, I could’ve opened the window and shouted. Someone understood…someone got it.

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