Viktor Frankl wrote “Man’s Search for Meaning” based on his experiences in the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. You can find many quotes from him on life and its meaning. He talks about how we are able to choose our response to any situation, even if we are unable to change the circumstances in which we find ourselves. There is an old prayer, used by Alcoholics Anonymous and many other groups. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Knowing the answers to these questions may help us identify those areas of our lives where we need to change. It may also help us to respond differently, if we cannot change our circumstances.
Frankl also talks about each of us having a unique part to play in life, because each of our lives is unique. What is it that makes your life, or my life, unique? What is it that we can offer the world? When the family of the man who died got in contact with people in his address book, they uncovered so many small acts of kindness that he had performed over the years – regularly visiting and bringing flowers to someone who was housebound, being generous with his neighbours, doing shopping for someone who was ill. All small gestures that he never mentioned to his family, but meant so much to the recipients of his kindness. It was such a blessing at a time of great loss to hear so many of these stories. It was also very inspiring to realise that we do not need to be wealthy or talented or famous to make a difference with our lives. We just need to be willing to try.
Life is a miracle. What we do with it is up to us. What will give your life meaning this week?