“If you know the why, you can live any how.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
One book that’s handily stored in my ‘book basket’ is ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ written by Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. In it, he gives first-hand accounts of his experiences during his time in Auschwitz , where he endured much cruelty and hardship and was surrounded by sickness, despair and death. Through all the horrors he experienced in the camp, he held on to one hope and that was the hope of being reunited with his family. This was his ‘why for living.’
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~Viktor Frankl
The book is what I’d call a coffee table book, one that can easily be read in one two days. One sitting if you can read fast without losing content. However, I kept going re-reading certain chapters so it took me nearly two weeks to finish . Then the final chapter was left a few days simply because there was so much meaningful content I didn’t want the book to end.
“Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering.” ~Viktor Frankl
Like so many great pieces of work, written in 1946, Man’s Searching for Meaning” is timeless for the mere fact that people are still faced with challenges, hardship, pain, death, despair and sickness. Maybe not in the same sense as Viktor Frankl, but the experiences are present and we all search for meaning and purpose in our lives; we are all holding on to something, we all have our ‘why’ for living. This is what keeps us going, it’s the thing that gives us the strength to face all of life’s challenges, it’s the carrot at the end of the stick that keeps us moving forward through all the distractions.