Man's Search for Meaning

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Life was consumed by constant orders, labor, malnutrition, disease, and murder in the concentration camps. Yet somehow the human psyche in many individuals was able to endure throughout these imprisonments. Men and women were almost completely dehumanized during this genocide, but their psyche survived it. People had to find little things to keep themselves content and to nurture their psyche. “Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation” (63). Humor allows a person to escape a situation and rise above it, even if only for a short time. Humor can never be taken away from anyone because it is naturally within us. Humor within the concentration camps allowed people, for even a split second, to feel like they were free and not in this confinement. “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” (64). It would be much more rigorous on the human psyche if one could not escape every so often and realize the humor in something. Humor allowed people to become more relaxed and release some stress, allowing the human psyche to stay healthier.

Viktor E. Frankl discusses how man can find meaning and a reason in his or her life. Viktor is faced with obstacles all along the way of his life, and questions arise that he has a hard time answering. The same pattern of obstacles and questions arise in my life. Although Viktor’s imprisonment in a concentration camp was far more discouraging than anything in my life, he still had to answer the same questions in life as I do. What is my meaning? Why should I go on? Frankl talks about how we can discover life in 3 ways. The two I relate with are doing a deed and attitude towards unavoidable suffering. I interpret the first one as being the best person I can be to others and me, choosing to do just the next right thing. The second one, attitude towards unavoidable suffering, is something I have accepted a...
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