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Sunday, July 05, 2020

Yes to Life : In Spite of Everything Viktor E. Frankl, Daniel Goleman (Introduction by)

This should be required reading during the pandemic! It is a wonderful affirmation of life and the meaning of life, although not religious. When Victor Frankl endured the torture and oppression of a concentration camp, he realised that he was still free in his own mind, and he dreamed about his future career. He argues that even in the worst of circumstances life still has meaning (and makes a strong argument against euthanasia).

According to Frankl, our lives take on meaning through our actions, through loving and through suffering. Each of us has a unique life purpose, but we should ask what life asks of us instead of asking what life can do for us.  We can't usually do anything about fate, but we can control how we react to it, and develop resilience in the tough times. Life can even become more meaningful when it is difficult. He also writes about the importance of compassion and empathy.

The only problem is that I found it all rather vague. Frankl doesn't really explain how to carry out his prescriptions, so I am going to read more about logotherapy, the therapy he developed.

I found some of the descriptions of the concentration camp too harrowing to read. Otherwise, I highly recommend this book.

I received this free ebook from Edelweiss.plus in return for an honest review.

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