Viktor Frankl is often mentioned when people are discussing resilient role models.
He was a psychiatrist working in Austria when he was captured and interned in Auschwitz and other camps. Although there is some controversy around some of the clinical interventions he had been involved in, it is to our great benefit that he survived the almost unsurvivable and that he explained so eloquently his observations of his reactions, and the reactions of fellow inmates, in the face of unimaginable adversity.
He was struck by the difference between those who survived their time in the camp and those who didn’t, and ultimately he identified the will to survive and positive hopeful mindset as the crucial factor. This in itself is also a point of debate with many experts critical of suggestion or perception that survival itself can be consciously ‘decided’.
Nevertheless, his best-selling book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ is a highly recommended read for its insights and the rare first-hand account of life in a concentration camp.
If nothing else, it’s a reminder for most of us how lucky we have been to have been born in a different time, in different circumstances.
Gratitude comes in many forms and can prompted by unexpected situations.
Until next week, take care.