thoughts [Frankl]

his thoughts:

"But what about human liberty? Is there no spiritual freedom in regard to behavior and reaction to any given surroundings? ...[is man] no more than a product of a biological, psychological or sociological nature? Most important, do the prisoners' reactions to the singular world of the concentration camp prove that man cannot escape the influences of his surroundings? [Frankl was a concentration camp survivor] Does man have no choice of action in the face of such circumstances?
"The experiences of camp life show that man does have a choice of action... We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread... they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of cirumstances, to choose one's own way.
"And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opprotunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate."

my realization:

there are so many choices that I surrender out of habit.  if Frankl witnesses starving, beaten, abused men choosing selflessness, how can I continue pretending that my circumstances excuse my attitudes?
grumpy this morning?  that's a choice.
stressed about that test? that's a choice too.
melancholy about that relationship? what are you doing about it?
I was just passively wandering in the footsteps of my feelings.
when I realized that I could fight for joy despite my feelings, everything changed.

1 comment:

  1. That was great!
    I really do agree in that everything that defines us as human beings is completely about choice. We CHOOSE what we do with our lives, careers, who we marry, what we eat, how we care for ourselves. While at the same time choose to ignore, so some choose to eat unhealthy foods, choose to be sedentary, choose to settle and sometimes choose to give up the right to choose.