This book came at the recommendation of a friend over coffee. This was an incredible book. Viktor Frankl is a Jewish psychiatrist that lived in concentration camps for three years. The first half of the book is a detailed account of his experiences in the concentration camps. The second half of the book is all about the psychology of man’s search for meaning.
Frankl’s conclusion is that once a man finds meaning for his life, he is able to find hope in any situation, and able to get through anything. He talks a lot about the people who survived in concentration camps in comparison with those who didn’t make it. Often, the people who didn’t make it, could not find meaning in the midst of their suffering, while the people who survived, could and did.
I’d recommend this book to everyone. It will give you hope, and allow you to recognize that regardless of what you’re going through, you can find meaning in your life and find the strength to go on!
- “man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life.”
- At any moment, man must decide, for better or for worse, what will be the monument of his existence.
- Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.
- freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.
- There is nothing conceivable which would so condition a man as to leave him without the slightest freedom.
- There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so
effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life.
- “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
- man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.
- The crowning experience of all, for the homecoming man, is the wonderful feeling that, after all he has suffered, there is nothing he need fear any more-except his God.
- They died less from lack of food or medicine than from lack of hope, lack of something to live for.
- The truth-that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.
- No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.