Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Man's Search for Meaning

I am reading Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning". Frankl talks about the importance of a purpose in one's life. He talks about individuals who died in concentration camps as soon as they lost hope, as soon as they lost their reason for being. For example, this hope was the possibility of seeing a loved one, for others it was going back and telling the world what they had gone through.

While Frankl talks abut the concentration camps, I believe the same applies to normal everyday life. Too many people die while still alive because they lack a sense of purpose. It is then that no material comforts can alleviate the suffering. A new ship, similar stories with a world of difference. The same sea, with different waves, the same spot, never the same river...

We are living in a whirlpool of information. We are bombarded with news (what others do), views (what others think) and cues (what others think we should do). We are convinved that the vastness and complexity of it all is the sea which we need to conquer and cross. But a calm sea whispered to me, that the sea resides within.

Why do we become slaves to the number of degrees we have accured, the number which associates our ranking in class, the number of accolades which we receive, the final number in the right column of our balanced sheet, the number of rooms in our house, the number and size of cars we own? Why? Because we subscribe to the maxin: If it can be externally quantifiable, it is. Materialism, the God of the 20th century, the opium of the masses. How empty, how impoverished.

The modern man has lost perspective of the truly important things in life. Often, these are the very things which cannot be quantified and measured. Can I put a number on the wonderful emotions which I experienced today? Can I rank that which I feel when helping other people? Can I measure the value of a conversation with a friend? Can I quantify the pleasure and meaning I derive from spending time with my family? How full, how rich.

3 Comments:

At 1:17 AM, Blogger REDLeader said...

Yeah, I enjoyed his book too.

Agreed, we should count our blessings instead of counting our "ka-ching".

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Magdalene said...

Absolutely!

People wonder why they are not happy - go figure!

 
At 1:26 AM, Blogger QuEeN NaThaLiA said...

Most people these days walk around the world living for the world and not for themselves and God.

We rush through life thinking that only results and sucess proves our self-esteem, thus worthiness. How many of us walk around, chained by the expectations of the world's demands, dragging by each day and dreading each day.

The best way to live, is to live freely. To detach ourselves from expectations that feed on us more and more and eat us from within...

 

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