by Naomi Hafter, Librarian
2020 has been an awkward, unusual time, where so much was turned on its head. Many things will continue to be different as we go forward. How shall we respond? Where shall we find meaning? As things begin opening up we may find ourselves creating an understanding of our experiences and learning new ways of handling what was second nature. Victor Frankl used his experiences to portray people’s survival.
We may not be able to change anything about our circumstances. We can shape our attitude and outlook. How we respond to our surroundings can change and help us successfully manage.
Living through a perfectly ghastly experience of the Concentration Camps Victor Frankl saw people who survived as people who had meaning in, or purpose to, their lives. Meaning despite what was going on around them, their attitude and response kept them alive. Frankl was a doctor, having studied psychiatry and neurology, before WWII, his experience and found people who had a reason for their lives were able to bear their surroundings.
With many of our civil and religious rituals and lives changed, with mourning and grieving rituals stopped and as we forge ahead with new routines, where and how can we renew meaning?
Many things resonated with me, this sentence is one:
“The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.” (pg 44)
There are many books we can read to help us find our way as we continue our journey. Here are several.