People today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for The title of this article was taken from a quote by the Austrian Psychiatrist, Viktor E. Frankl (1905 ~ 1997).

He developed the theory and practice of logotherapy, which became known as the "third school" of Viennese psychotherapy (the "first school" being that of Sigmund Freud and the second that of Alfred Adler). A survivor of the Holocaust, Frankl became widely known because of his book, "Man·s Search for Meaning." In it he theorized that the concentration camp victims most likely to survive were those who had meaning in their lives.

According to the tenets of logotherapy, the main motivation of humanity is its search for meaning in life. Without meaning, a vacuum is created, plunging us into the relentless pursuits of money, power, fame, and sex. There is nothing inherently wrong with all the above, but unless they are subjugated to a higher purpose, their attainment leaves us feeling empty. Money, sex, and power, then, are not enough. We need meaning.

After all, the rich and powerful are not immune from suffering. How can they face it without meaning? Do not even the most powerful people die? If so, how can they courageously accept their mortality without meaning? Can our life be a source of joy if it is without meaning?

the meaning of life is to live a meaningful life. In other words. and we create our meaning with the power of choice. It·s a reason to get out of bed in the morning. accountants and politicians. and every role is an opportunity for someone to find meaning. and making their dining experience enjoyable is the mark of a professional. Taking orders for food and serving it may be the job of a waiter. It is not the nature of the role. serving them courteously and promptly. artists and musicians.What then is meaning? It·s a personal reason for our existence. It requires peacekeepers and bus drivers. schoolteachers and philosophers. . and mysterious meaning. but putting people at ease. factory workers and salespeople. for the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. we become meaningful by being useful. the mark of someone filled with purpose. helping them make their selections. The world is in great need. but how we express it that fills us with purpose. but merely of choosing what to dedicate our life to. We create ourselves with the power of thought. plumbers and physicians. No role is too small. The list is endless. Our role gives us value and significance. The meaning of a word is its role in a sentence. it is not the nature of our job. It is this intention to serve others to the best of our ability that elevates even the simplest job into one of great dignity. It is not a matter of searching for some ethereal. janitors and shopkeepers. but the nature of our attitude toward our job that makes our life worth living. computer programmers and dishwashers. and the meaning of a person is their role in society. It transforms a common task into an extraordinary event that touches the lives of others. profound. cooks and architects. all roles are vital. engineers and electricians. When we take on a role and contribute to society. So.

then. The secret. . your consciousness expands in every direction. When we redirect our attention from our own needs to the needs of society. and you find yourself in a new." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749~1832) expressed similar sentiments when he wrote. It·s about serving the community." Some young students worry that they may never find meaning in life because they are overwhelmed by the number of occupational choices and the extent of the skills that are needed. some extraordinary project. it·s about becoming useful. The simple act of dedicating ourselves to a noble purpose fills us with power. "What is my life if I am no longer useful to others?" So. when we accept a role. and wonderful world. They often are confused because they don·t know what to become. faculties and talents become alive. But life is not about becoming an occupation. A sincere wish to contribute to society coupled with a willingness to respond to opportunity as it strikes will lead to finding one·s purpose. great. And we can do this is any number of ways. "When you are inspired by some great purpose. as long as it ennobles them. "Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. All young people have to do is follow their heart. we are more apt to find our place in the world. is not to search for an occupation to study. and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.Is our job really that important? Buddha thought so. but to look for a way to help others. or 5th century AD) explained this well when he taught. for he taught. all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations. Dormant forces. we cease to be a wanderer and become a pilgrim. The Indian philosopher Patañjali (2nd century BC.

"Woe unto us. We need to be good for something. the Hindu faith teaches. For example. "What sort of religion can it be without compassion? You need to show compassion to all living beings. ¶For I desire mercy and not sacrifice· [Hosea 6. "that this. "All [human] creatures are God·s children. "How can we find meaning in a world of suffering?" But doesn·t suffering point to needs? Don·t needs provide an opportunity to serve? And doesn·t service give meaning? Being good isn·t good enough." Rabbi Joshua cried. What greater meaning can we find than lessening the suffering of others? It is for this reason that all religions teach compassion. "be not grieved. and those dearest to God are those who treat His children kindly." (Hadith of Baihaqi) The following story taken from the Talmud (Abot de Rabbi Nathan 6) expresses the Jewish view: Once. Rabbi Joshua followed after him and beheld the Temple in ruins." Rabbi Yohanan said to him. We have another atonement as effective as this." ." (Basavanna. as Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai was coming forth from Jerusalem.Some cry. as it is said. Islam teaches. is laid waste!" "My son.6]. Vachana 247) Also. Compassion is the root of all religious faiths. the place where the iniquities of Israel were atoned for. And what is it? It is acts of loving-kindness.

So. instead of burning one another alive. And what of the Palestinians and Jews? Rather than exterminating women and children of their enemies." . let·s end our search for meaning by choosing to become all that we can be. for we are all guilty of being less than we can be. "I·m doing God·s work. why not extinguish the hatred in their hearts? I don·t mean to condemn any particular group. And if someone were to ask. India burned the above teachings into their hearts. the world would become a better place. if the Hindus and Muslims of Ayodhya.Perhaps. "What on earth are you doing for Heaven·s sake?" ³ let our answer be.

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