Man's Search For Meaning

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Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

What an inspiring book. Viktor Frankl was a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. In the book, he detailed his horrific experience, and how he was able to find meaning, regardless of his situation. Through his experience, Dr. Frankl described how he and other prisoners summoned the will to survive by what he later coined logotherapy.

My favorite part of the book was the section on how the prisoner could still find enjoyment of life in the little things, regardless of the situation. It puts me to shame on how these men who were imprisoned falsely against their wills found the courage and will to survive, yet I was guilty of dwelling in self-pity for a crime that I was guilty of. And I realize that no matter the situation, we can find meaning wherever we are at. I also believe that it is important for us to have a sense of meaning in life, if not, we would just simply be shells of human beings.

To achieve a sense of meaning in life, I have decided that I have to view the men around me here at Solano State Prison as part of my community, and I have to interact with them as such. This has been in the form of the workshops that I facilitate through the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), through Peer Health, as well as just how I live and carry myself on a daily basis. Everything revolves around my thoughts and what I am telling myself. I have found meaning by trying to share myself as openly and as honestly as possible when given the opportunity, so as perhaps to inspire the men around me to see that prison is not the dark and dreadful place that we have made it out to be, but a place to redefine and discover our true selves. Where else but the darkness of our minds would some light be most meaningful?

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