July 4th is one of my favorite holidays. And it’s not just that I get to light things on fire and throw a huge party for all my friends. I love July 4th because of what it reminds me of. And no, it is not about the personal freedoms I get because of our great country (which are amazing), July 4th makes me remember that freedom can be achieved no matter what my circumstances may be. Exactly what am I talking about right now? You’ll have to listen to find out.
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- One of the greatest books I’ve ever read is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl.
- Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
- At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.
- “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms— to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.“ (Frankl, Viktor E. (2006-06-01). Man’s Search for Meaning (pp. 65-66). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.)
- “No matter what precautions we take, no matter how well we have put together a good life, no matter how hard we have worked to be healthy, wealthy, comfortable with friends and family, and successful with our career — something will inevitably ruin it.” Timothy Keller “Walking with God through Pain and Suffering”
- Freedom is a choice
- Suffering is a blessing
- “20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21 God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.” Luke 6:20-23
- In the end, it doesn’t matter what is happening around me. I can still be ok, it all depends on how I choose to see things.
- “The only love that won’t disappoint you is one that can’t change, that can’t be lost, that is not based on the ups and downs of life or of how well you live. It is something that not even death can take away from you. God’s love is the only thing like that.” Timothy Keller “Walking with God through Pain and Suffering”
Man’s Search for Meaning
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