Your right to the right attitude – Lessons from Victor Frankl
When life itself becomes the biggest challenge in living, is there a way out?
How do we live when life is hell-bent on crushing us?
What do we do then?
For some of us, the pandemic has been one in a series of misfortunate events. Just a few weeks before the lockdown, Samantha had lost her job. She had applied to a few places and was looking forward to hearing from her prospective employees. Unfortunately, the lockdown has put an end to her hope of finding a new job, and ever since her life has been spiraling downwards.
She had been living alone and living in isolation was the least of her worries. House rent, utility bills, grocery, the cost of living – her bank account is depleting faster since she no longer has any source of income. At this rate, she worries how long she could afford a roof over her head. From jobless to homeless – just the thought is making her hopeless.
If you’re in a similar boat as Samantha and living has become the biggest challenge… what now?
Lessons from Victor Frankl
First of all, we have to accept that we are living in a challenging time – a time of uncertainty, and wading across uncharted waters. Our life hanging by a thread is closing in on us like a noose and we are finding it hard to breathe. But still we must hold on. We must hold on to dear life even though life is what is difficult. We must hold on a little longer because that’s what it takes to be a human. Victor Frankl writes, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Frankl did not only write those words, he lived every bit of it as well. He realised his freedom to choose his attitude when he was in a Nazi concentration camp. Many of his inmates crumbled and gave up on life long before they actually died but not Frankl. His own family members who were sent to different camps could not make it out alive, but he did. He lived on, he held on to his dear life and he chose to be positive. When he was liberated, he went on to become one of the most prominent figures in the world of psychology and even founded Logotherapy. His book “Man in Search of Meanings” which he began writing in the concentration camp, has helped millions of people find meanings of their lives.
The situation you are in is not in your control – the pandemic, the lockdown, the opportunities lost – none of these are in your control. However, your attitude to your life right now is totally up to you. No one can take that away from you despite losing your job, your house, or your savings. You always have a choice – we always have a choice! A choice to give up and give in or a choice to stand up and fight back. And if you choose to do nothing, that is also a choice you are making. You have the right, you have the freedom to choose your attitude – let it be the right attitude.
Life can be brutal but this brutality too shall pass. What matters right now is your attitude. Get hold of your attitude and your life will be in your reins soon enough.