One day while acting as a doctor in the concentration camps Dr.Viktor Frankl was called to assist a prisoner who was in depression and ready to commit suicide. When asked the reason for such a decision, the prisoner told Frankl that he has nothing left to expect out of life and that he was going to kill himself to end the suffering in the concentration camps.
The following day, Viktor Frankl was summoned yet again to assist another prisoner with a similar situation. When asked the reason for such a decision, this prisoner told Frankl the same – that he has nothing left to get out of life and that he wanted to end his life.
Dr. Viktor Frankl spoke to both the prisoners. He addressed the first prisoner saying, ‘I understand that you have nothing left to expect from life, but what does life still have to expect from you?’ This caught the prisoner’s attention and made him think.
He thought for a while and said, ‘I have a daughter who was taken to America and I love her more than anything. She is waiting for me to come back to her.’ This prisoner had found his reason to survive. His suffering had turned meaningful and his sole purpose was to survive for his daughter.
Dr. Viktor Frankl had the same question for the other prisoner too. ‘You say you have nothing left to expect out of life, but what does life still have to expect from you?’ The prisoner thought for a while and said, ‘Before I was taken from home I was writing a series of geography books and I’m the only one who can complete these books.’ This prisoner suddenly had a reason to survive. He too found a reason to live.
In both the cases, the two prisoners found a future life task; something they had to do in the future. This gave them the will to survive. It gave their lives a meaning.
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.Viktor Frankl
So whenever you are going suffering or feeling let down, remember to ask yourself about what life still expects from you.
This is the story of one holocaust survivor who served a great deal even during his time of despair. It was the 30th of January 1933, Adolf Hitler becomes the chancellor of Germany and this was the beginning of the holocaust. From his suffering in four concentration camps Viktor Frankl retrieved a universal note on the meaning of life.