Man’s Search for Meaning: A Review

I finished Viktor Frankl’s Man Search for Meaning a few nights ago. It was good. I understand why so many people that I look up to and admire recommended it. It did not have the profound impact on me that I believe it may have had on others. I was impacted though. There were many important messages embedded in the pages of the book. It gave me a lot to think about. One thing I spoke with hubs about was the point Mr. Frankl makes about how life’ meaning is unique for each person. I had never given that idea much thought before, I was really struck by it. There are so many ideas out there about “the meaning of life”. People will claim the meaning of life is this or it is that.. The truth is it is different for each person because each person is different.

There were absolutely plenty of times throughout the book to pause and reflect, I dog eared about a dozen pages because I knew I would want to return to a certain part and reflect further. I have to say there was something that bothered me a bit while reading, it was a stylistic thing.

The author went in and out of first and third person while writing and did it in a way that made the story lose something, some feeling. I understand why he did this, he even addressed the fact that he did it. Some stories are difficult to tell because of the amount of emotion they hold, because of the level of pain or other strong feelings. While writing you can get lost in the feelings and lose any sense of direction the story should have. I really do understand this.

Last semester I had to write a paper about my family, I was supposed to analyze my family dynamics and boundaries and report on it objectively. I ended up writing the paper in third person even though we were instructed to write it in first. I knew there was no way for me to separate my feelings if I wrote in first person, so I chose to risk losing a few points and write the paper in third so I could be objective.

One semester in undergrad I had to write a personal paper about my life experiences and I got so lost while writing because of the emotions that surfaced.

So I do understand the need to detach yourself from what you are writing at times. It is such a small thing, it does not ruin the story by any means. I just read a lot so I notice little stylistic things like this sometimes and get distracted by them, that’s all.

I am still planning on reading Love Warrior but I have not been to the book store yet so in the interim I am going to start Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It was a graduation gift from my former intern supervisor in April of last year. I have never gotten around to reading it because again I did not feel ready to receive the messages it may hold for me. I am very open to receiving right now so I know the time is right. My intern supervisor wrote a personal note for me in the cover;

To Jillian,
And the beginning of a social work career dedicated to good endings.

I am very excited to get started on it. We shall see what it holds for me.

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