” This Man Faced Unimaginable Suffering,
And Then Wrote The Definitive Book About Happiness.” 1
Dr. Frankl, survived the Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Later in 1959, he published this book about the power of meaning for overcoming life’s pressures, setbacks, and sufferings. Its main theme: “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
He tells this great story: “Once, an elderly general practitioner (family doctor) consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else.
“Now, how could I help him? What should I tell him? Well, I refrained from telling him anything but instead confronted him with the question, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?”
“Oh,” he said, “for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!”
Whereupon I replied, “You see, Doctor, for, such a suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering-to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her.”
He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left my office. In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice. 2
Are You Suffering? You may be on the verge of Happiness!
1 (Huffington Post Headline 02/04/2014)
2 (Man’s Search for Meaning p. 113).