You get to choose. Look, I’m reading this book at the moment. I don’t know if you’ve ever read this 12 million copies sold Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. And this is one of the most sought of most contrasting books I’ve ever read in my life. If you know the story, Viktor Frankl, the book was first published in 1959.
And he was a Holocaust survivor. He was actually a psychiatrist, so a fully qualified doctor. And then he did his psychiatry qualifications along that, and I think he was Jewish. He didn’t really talk about that much in the book. And anyway, he ended up in a bunch of different concentration camps.
During the Second World War. He was in Auschwitz, he was in Dachau. And I’m reading this book, and I’m kind of like what the heck I mean, on the one hand, they’re incredible atrocities, the way that they were treated was basically subhuman. They were treated as though they were merely animals.
He described them as being herded as sheep, you know, sort of push a few sheep over there, and a few sheep over there. And yet, the part that is so extraordinary about this book is how optimistic it is. Now, of course, it was written after he got out, but it just struck me I’ve never seen such a stark contrast between such diabolically terrible situations and such optimism.
And the real take home message from the entire book is you get to choose as he said, the one thing that they couldn’t take away from them, and they like for example, they when they went into Auschwitz, they were all completely shaved, every part of their body was shaved. And, you know, every bit of human dignity completely removed, but he said that one thing they could never take from them was how they chose to respond to a given situation.
And I suppose, you know, that’s obviously well, my being none of us are in concentration camps. You know, we can have tough times but the one thing that, circumstance people can never take away from us is how we decide to respond. And I guess my question to you today is, how do you choose to respond to life’s challenges?