In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.’” Both the book and its most famous quote were products of an incredibly difficult experience. During World War II, Frankl and his family were deported from their native Vienna to various concentration camps, including Auschwitz. He was the only member of his family to survive.
Frankl knew just how unbearable the “how” of life could be. And yet, as Frankl explained, humans are meaning-seeking creatures. We want to believe that there’s more to life than meeting our basic survival needs of food, water, shelter, and safety. Even more, we need this to be true. Otherwise, ours becomes a purely animal existence. Despite all the zoo placards and biology textbooks assuring us that humans are just animals, we certainly don’t act like survival and promulgating the species are all that matters.
Without meaning, hope is difficult, if not impossible. At best, without meaning, we resort to a kind of detachment and resignation. At worst, we resort to self-harm, violence, or even suicide.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera
From BreakPoint. Reprinted with the permission of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. “BreakPoint®” and “The Colson Center for Christian Worldview®” are registered trademarks of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview.
John Stonestreet is the President of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and co-host with Eric Metaxas of Breakpoint, the Christian worldview radio program founded by the late Chuck Colson. He is co-author of A Practical Guide to Culture, A Student’s Guide to Culture and Restoring All Things.