Thursday, July 06, 2006

The whys and the hows

New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner, originally published 11 December 2000, available through The Cartoon Bank.

I used to have a book by Victor Frankl, and it was really helpful. He said things like this:
It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life - daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
And this:
A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how."
(quotes from Man's Search for Meaning)

And I can't think of a way to turn this post into anything other than a series of links and quotes, so here's another link: an interview with Mr Frankl in 1995.