Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist Viktor Frankl spent three years in Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and later Dachau concentration camps (1942 – 1945). His mother and his brother Walter died at Auschwitz. His wife was moved to Bergen-Belsen, where she died. The only other survivor among his immediate family was his sister, Stella, who had emigrated to Australia. He published Man’s Search for Meaning in 1946.

Frankl concludes that the meaning of life is in every moment of living. Life never ceases to have meaning, even in suffering and death. He observed that a prisoner’s psychological reactions are not simply the result of his treatment, but from how he chooses to respond. The hold that a prisoner has on his inner self requires having hope in the future; if he loses that hope, he is doomed.

Viktor Frankl: The power to choose your response

3 thoughts on “Viktor Frankl: The power to choose your response

  1. frankaquin0 says:

    This is surely the single most important lesson in life.

  2. plankful says:

    I read that book in grad school 20 years ago. Your post just inspired me to read it again! Thank you!!!

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