Saturday, August 15, 2009
MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING
So many writers, philosophers, thinkers, and antagonists print their opinions on life and beleive they will have a profound influence on how others will improve their lives. Although Viktor Frankle, in his book titled Man's Search for Meaning, I must disagree with some of his premises for having meaning in life. In his preface to the book, he states that "success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself." Actually, I like the thought; however, it is unreasonable to believe that man cannot have some control over his/her happiness or success when one purposely sets out to climb the ladder to that better playing field. When working as a photographer in a small town and eventually taking on the duties of a clerk in a local CVS pharmacy (the photo studio was on the premises), I realized that in order to get out of the trap of minimum wage, I would have to focus on an education - even at my age of 40. Therefore, I enrolled as a provisional student at a local university, graduated with an AA degree, moved to another university, earned my BS in English, moved on to a third university where I completed my Master's Degree in Education and finally, eight years later, earned my PhD at even another university. Teaching at university level has been both a great honor and a dream for me. I'm not quite sure that I can digest Frankl's viewpoint that "success...cannot be pursued." Perhaps if one is to investigate more of Frankl's background and his time during WWII in concentration camps, one could reasonably understand his perspective on life; however, I believe it should be qualified and not published as a general philosophy on the meaning of life.