Saturday, September 02, 2017

"Man's Search for Meaning"

"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and survivor of the Nazi death camps, remains one of the most influential books of my life.

I'm not alone, of course. Frankl's book often makes lists of influential books. It is an easy bet that many of the readers of this blog have read it.

I believe the book's power comes first from its bizarre setting - a practicing psychiatrist thrown into a cauldron of evil and madness - and secondly from its author's discovery of the individual's power to choose just what sort of person he or she is going to be.

It is a book that periodically should be re-read. Its insight should be reabsorbed and one of the indirect lessons remembered: evil is always out there. 

Glance at pictures of the death camps and consider how many architects, accountants, lawyers, clerks, engineers, cooks, laborers, doctors, and secretaries - in addition to the more visible guards and officers - were behind that process.

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