Man’s search of meaning.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl.
Viktor Frankl was a neurologist and psychiatrist, founder of logotherapy and existential analysis. Frankl's approach is based on 3 concepts: Freedom of Will (humans are free to decide and capable of taking their stance towards internal [psychological] and external [biological and social] conditions.), Will to Meaning (The search for meaning is seen as the primary motivation of humans.) and Meaning in Life. (Perceiving and realizing the meaning of the moment in each and every situation.)
This is a book about humans in an extreme condition of life, an autobiographic book of Dr. Frankl, when he was arrested and captured at Auschwitz and in others concentrations camps. But, if you think it’s a sad history, you are wrong; it talks about a man who finds he’s own life meaning and himself, in a difficult time in his life.
He’s story really caught me, because of how He defined the steps of the prisoner’s psychological life in the camps and before the release. The first one was; the shock, they didn’t believe it, it was like the worst nightmare of all, it was very impressive how humans can act so heartless, brutal, savage, so inhuman in so many ways, with other humans, with them, who never did something bad to them, to no one (some of them).
But, the human’s mind has a defense mechanism, “the illusion of reprieve”, that it’s a mechanism of cushioning intern, which implies hope with no reason, fake illusions; like viewing everything with hope and positivism, even though there’s no reason to believe something good is going to happen.
The second thing was the humor in the camps, they didn’t have anything, but they had that black humor about themselves and the circumstances they were. They started to enjoy every little detail that wasn’t bad, either good, but that was “normal” and started to laugh about the little thing they were living.
Curiosity; when people can’t change the circumstances, curiosity about what’s next appears, so they start to take advantage of curiosity, like personal measure of protection. They were excited of what was next and the consequences of every action or moment. One of the other thing they were amazed was the resistance of the human body, they weren’t do so many things they used to do before, like brush their teeth, but they were in good conditions, they started to appreciated the human’s body.
They also started to think about suicide, but they think they anyway were going to die, so, they started to live (leveraging) the time they had.
The second step is apathy, emotional death; they missed their family and friends, homesickness. This apathy allowed the prisoners survived the continuous suffering in the camps, thanks to that insensitivity they were protected (emotionally) from each day. They suffered more from insults than from knockings. But, they were strong enough to hold on.
One of the things that amazed me was that the prisoner didn’t thought about sex, when time passed in the camps, I was of the idea that sex is one of the primary needs of humans, but now I’m sure that it’s not in the same level like food or water, like Maslow said. It’s important, but not in the same level and not more important than love. Love is motivation… love is peace; love can makes us stronger than what we think. (Fernanda’s first quote) hahah.
But, some of them started to act unkind with the others prisoners, with the only thing in their mind that was survive. The unique goal they had. The only thing they fought for. Their motivation.
So, I think, there’s not good or bad, there are only actions and consequences, who says it is wrong to act that way in that circumstance, it was all they had (some of them), the thing is what we want to reach in our life and with what cost. What are we are going make to accomplish our dream. What are we are willing to do...
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