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Meaning of Life

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Viktor Frankl spent several months in Hitler’s concentration camps. It is very difficult to nurture hope and not capitulate to despair when you know that your days are numbered.  Frankl was lucky to survive. He wrote the book Man’s Search for Meaning after his release from the camp. The book sold millions of copies.

Meaning is what sustains us. That is Frankl’s essential message. It is not at all easy to find meaning in a life that is about to be snuffed out in a torture camp. The first thing you need is hope, says Frankl. You know that there is someone outside there waiting for you, waiting with agonised longing for your safe return. That one person alone is enough to generate hope in your heart. That person may be your spouse, your offspring or even your god. You are very precious for that someone. All of us have someone for whom we are very, very precious. We have to live for that person. We have to win for that person.

Hope alone is not enough, however. Discover a meaning in your present experience. That will help you survive. That will help you fight and not give up. Even the suffering in a torture camp can have meanings. Unless you burn, you can’t provide light. Your suffering is going to create light for someone. Convert your suffering into light.

There is no escape from suffering however privileged you are. Life offers us suffering very copiously. Suffering may assume various forms such as our ineptitude, illness, and failures. Discover a meaning in all such moments. Create the meaning if need be. Frankl created his meaning in the concentration camp by bringing hope and courage to his fellow prisoners.

Every moment of life offers a choice to you. You can choose to fight or choose to give up. You can choose to endure or choose to despair. Life is a series of choices and the choices you make create the meaning of your life.

Do you sometimes feel like a page in a book that nobody bothered to read? For some reason or the other, the readers flipped through that page. That happens. That is precisely the feeling of meaninglessness. Create something on that page, something that catches the attention of the reader. That something is the meaning you are creating in your life. That meaning is what is going to alter your life altogether.

PS. #BlogchatterA2Z – letter M

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  1. A very nice article Sir, on sustaining hope in times of despair and searching tenaciously for a meaning to one's exiatence. My favourite lines are --"You know that there is someone outside there waiting for you, waiting with agonised longing for your safe return. That one person alone is enough to generate hope in your heart. "

    1. One person is enough to make a world of difference.

  2. Excellent ... sufferings in fact give us invaluable lessons which only a few actually get..

    1. True. A lot of people don't understand the meaning of suffering.


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