New Year’s Resolution

As certain as the sun coming up in the morning is the certainty of a New Year and the New Year’s resolution.

Each of us has reflected on the past year’s habits and deeds and have wished we had stuck to our last year’s resolutions. For some it was to exercise more consistently, some it was to eat fewer fatty foods and more vegetables and fruits. For others, it was to cultivate a better balance of home and family life.

No one can be another persons conscience, nor can anyone impose their will on another without the consent of the receiver. This of course was optimized by Dr. Victor Frankle in his book, “Man’s Search For Meaning”. As a long time prisoner of war in German concentration camps, he found himself stripped to naked existence. His Father, Mother, Brother and wife were all sent to the gas chambers. All but Victor and his sister perished in the camps. How could he, every possession lost, every value destroyed, suffering from hunger, cold and brutality, hourly expecting extermination, how could he find life worth preserving? He concluded that man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a “secondary rationalization” of instinctual drives. This measuring was unique and specific in that it must and can be fulfilled by him alone; only then does it achieve a significance which will satisfy his own will to meaning.

In a survey concluded some years later at John Hopkins University, students were asked what they considered very important to their life. Sixteen percent of the students checked “making a lot of money” while 78% said their first goal was “finding a purpose and meaning to my life.”

Sometimes we trivialize our own lives and idealize high profile successful people, but each of us is one and it is only in our mind that the genesis of worth can materialize and crystalize to form our own search for meaning, worth and value.

Have a happy, prosperous and healthy 2002.

PS. If anyone is interested in reading “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Victor Frankle, it is available at most libraries and book stores. It’s a thoughtful and provocative book.

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