Title: Man's Search for Meaning
Publisher: Beacon Press (first published in 1959, read the edition published in 2006)
This is the book to read. While I was reading several other books, the title of this book "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl came up very often as one of the recommended books to read. The challenging part was that until quite recently, I could not get my hands on a copy of this book at the library. This book was first published in 1959, although there have been several reprints thereafter.
Good books are worth reading. This is a great read. There have been times when I cannot make sense of why some people suffer. I still do not know why. The consoling part is that in this book, the author explored how even during times of unavoidable sufferings, we as human beings could still find reasons to live, with dignity.
In the earlier chapters, the author presented his experiences as a survivor of several concentration camps during the World War II, and how he had to deal with what he was presented with after the great war (e.g. the realization that his wife had passed away). Subsequently, he discusses the therapeutic method known as logotherapy which sat very well with Frankl's beliefs that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. For Frankl, his meaning in life is to help others find theirs.
This is one book that I would like to find and to add to my collection as a good reminder for me especially during the potentially dark moments and times. The book demonstrated very wise writing and is very human in its outlook to life too. It is not a surprise that it is one of the highly recommended books to read.
Here's a few quotations from the book to share:
It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life - daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
...it is just such an exceptionally difficult external situation which gives man the opportunity to grow spiritually beyond himself.
the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Please read wikipedia's summary of this book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man's_Search_for_Meaning