I had heard quite a highly favorable reviews of the book Man’s Search For Meaning, by Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl. The book was a short, but inspiring read about each person finding their purpose to live. Founder of logotherapy, the author essentially says that a man must fulfill his deepest purpose, to find meaning life and the will to live on. There were lots of good quotes from various philosophers. One that stuck with me was Niche’s, “He who has a why to live, can bear almost any how.”
One quote that wasn’t in the book, but has always stuck with me and seemed to encompass a lot of what this book was about was from the movie Flight of the Phoenix which says, “I think a man only needs one thing in life. He just needs someone to love. If you can’t give him that, then give him something to hope for. And if you can’t give him that, just give him something to do.”
The book challenges the reader to reverse the common question, “what is the meaning of life?” to instead ask, “what is my meaning for life?” It points out that even in suffering their is meaning, as he illustrates with his concentration camp experiences.
While I’ve never experienced anything like a concentration camp, when life has kicked me in the ass in the past (as it does everyone), I think it might have been good book to have. Presently I live in a town I’m not that fond of and every day I wish I could move to dozens of other cities. However, I’m here for the benefit of my kids — they like it and it works for their situation. While I don’t think my life comes anywhere near the definition of “suffering,” it is nice to know that my frustrations on my location are going towards a greater purpose.
I’d encourage any man or woman who is trying to find a why in their life to read this, or anyone who just wants to read a popular book that likely will come up sometime at a cocktail party. This book has been around forever, and for good reason.