From “Your alive, start there” to “Here is how to truly live!”
I read a blog post from a guy in his early thirties this morning. It was titled “Your alive, start there.”
I really enjoyed it. In it, the young man laments how dissatisfied he was with the recent purchase of a new bed. I get it. We have so much, that even the new delivers us very little meaning. It led me to a quote I read from a psychologist, Dr. Victor Frankl, who had survived 4 Nazi death camps.
Written in 1955, only eleven years after his incarceration in hell, it is even more relevant today:
Every age has its own collective neurosis, and every age needs its own psychotherapy (way) to cope with it. The existential vacuum which is the mass neurosis of the present time can be described as a private and personal form of nihilism; for nihilism can be defined as the contention that being (oneself) has no meaning.”
He goes on to write:
“First of all, there is a danger inherent in the teaching of man’s “nothingbutness,” the theory that man is nothing but the result of biological, psychological and sociological conditions, or the product of heredity and environment. Such a view of man makes a neurotic believe what he is prone to believe anyway, namely, that he is the pawn and victim of outer influences or inner circumstances. This neurotic fatalism is fostered and strengthened by a psychotherapy which denies that man is free.”
Frankl, Viktor E. (2006-06-01). Man’s Search for Meaning.
You see, this is what this young man was wrestling with? He simply is trying to make sense of his life. He is asking “what does this all mean? I am getting much of what I want yet, I am still not moved or satisfied by it.”
And he is surviving his journey. His assertion “Your alive, start there.” I hope he is going somewhere farther. I hope he can continue to move from “Your alive, start there” to “Here is how to truly live!”
I hope our age of collective neurosis dies a cold hard death and each of us wakes up to the life we have been given. To an optimism that overcomes the droughts, and bland views of all of this blessing and we begin to use it to take care of those around us.