Caption: Auschwitz. Photo credit: Photo by betauser courtesy of everystockphoto.com.
Recently I renewed my acquaintance with a classic book, Man's Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankl (1905-1997). The book is his account both of his experiences as an inmate of Auschwitz and other concentration camps in the Third Reich era and of his psychological theories. It has had a huge impact, with millions of copies in print.
Frankl's book contains his ordeal and that of many others in the most extreme and dehumanizing conditions as well as his insights into how to remain human in spite of it all. Fortunately, one doesn't have to be in an extreme situation to benefit from his basic ideas.
Prior to his imprisonment, Frankl was a Viennese physician and psychologist who had me Freud and Adler. In 1942, Frankl, his wife, and parents were deported to Thereisenstadt, where, in spite of everything, he gave lectures on mental health and related topics. He was later shipped to the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Turkheim.
Frankl lost almost his entire family in the Holocaust, with the exception of a sister who escaped to Australia.
After the war, he resumed his practice in Vienna, where he developed his insights into a method he called logotherapy, from the Greek words for reason and healing.
In a very real sense, his work was a practical commentary on a line from Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols:
He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.
About which more tomorrow...
HEALTH CARE BLUES. According to Business Week, a new survey shows that more Americans want a total overhaul of the health care system than do citizens of six other industrialized nations.
FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS...NOT. Also from Business Week, this interesting article shows that big financial institutions are still collecting from consumers whose debts were supposedly cancelled by bankruptcy.
MEGAN WILLIAMS MARCH. Here's Charleston Gazette coverage for a march organized by Black Lawyers for Justice yesterday. The march was peaceful, although name-calling continued. A number of local organizations, including branches of the NAACP, the Charleston Black Ministerial Alliance, the Logan County Improvement League, and West Virginians United for Social and Economic Justice did not support the event, in part due to concerns about its possible impact on the case against her alleged attackers.
WHAT WOULD SUSTAINABILITY LOOK LIKE? Here's a suggestion.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED