June 16, 2021 - How we respond

A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes - within the limits of endowment and environment- he has made out of himself. In the concentration camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentialities within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions.

Viktor Frankel, "Man's Search For Meaning"


As I ponder this quote by Dr. Frankl, I am in awe of what this man went through. He lost all of his family in the Auschwitz concentration camp during the evil reign of Hitler, except for his sister.



There are a few things I disagree with, but this man and his insights into the human psyche and realigning your mentality with a sense of meaning, even amidst his unimaginable suffering, is second to none.


I dare to say that absolutely none of us will ever go through what he experienced, yet what he discovered does play a significant role in the human existence. For example, in the above quote, out of the men who were experiencing the same trauma, some acted like animals while others acted like saints. Why is that?


That just proves to me that everything we go through and how we respond to that is based on our attitude. He also said, and this is part of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that between what happens to us and how we respond, lies our freedom to choose, and that particular freedom can never be taken away.


So no matter what we go through, remember three things:


1) What we suffer is not what Viktor Frankl suffered. There is always something worse that someone is or has gone through (Christ?)

2) We have the freedom, the agency, to choose how we respond to what happens to us, no matter what happens to us

3) Christ ALREADY suffered everything you can think of, and even what you can't think of, so turn to Him for help through. He will make your burden light

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