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    • Thanks to a tip from @Factotum , I now have on my phone’s home screen an icon that takes me to a “On this day in History” website.

      Disturbingly, I learned that today in history was the 100th anniversary of the founding of a party in Germany.  Thirty years after its founding, it was permanently banned from that country.

      In the 1960s, this ban resulted in the Star Trek episode “Patterns of Force” being kept off of German television.

      Today got me thinking about a psychiatrist who survived the death camps during World War II.  An observer of the human condition, Victor Frankl noticed that some men in the camp gave up quickly and soon died.  Others held on longer than it would seem possible in the face of such inhumanity.

      Frankl wanted to know why these men lived.  What was special about them. Were they braver? Stronger? Did they appear smarter in some way?

      Dr. Frankl figured out that none of these possibilities was the reason why these men survived.  What he found at its core is that these men had a reason to live. There was meaning to their not giving up.  Some decided that they wanted to live to tell their grandchildren what happened so that it never happened again.  Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankl was the result of those experiences and the lessons learned for living a meaningful life.

    • This is quite a profound post which begs the question, what happens when what you thought was good was actually evil? What if you gave your career and reputation to it? This is a part of German history I am not sure of. Did millions of Germans think the Nazis were doing great things by reducing unemployment and restoring pride?

      I often wonder what the employees of Facebook are thinking now. A few years ago they must have derived great meaning from their work before it turned into a Black Mirror episode.

    • I wonder if the search for meaning gets stronger as we age. It has for me. What once was thrilling — making the soccer team, landing a job at the sporting goods store, getting our first apartment — has now turned into a burning desire to do something important and meaningful that touches lots of people. I wonder how many people feel that way.

    • I’m so glad you posted this! We’ve memorized and loved a quote from Victor Frankl for years but I never thought to look into who he was. What a tremendous amount of meaning his personal history adds to what he said:

      “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

    • I assume I am at a similar age, feeling similar things. However, I’m starting to wonder if efforts that involve many people inevitably become corrupt. I think it would be a terrible nightmare to commit to a big project, thinking it would give my life meaning, only to see it go sour after I become too old to drive it anymore.

      Is a project more meaningful based on the greater the number of people it touches? Does a broader influence correlate to a greater sense of accomplishment?

    • I don't think that the number of people that are affected originally is not necessarily indicative of how meaningful it is. Sometimes something that begins small and maybe affects only a few people in the beginning can go on and affect so many more. I think writers and speakers have no idea of how much of an impact they can have on their readers and listeners. I am thinking of something like the Gettysburg Address where the actual live audience was not huge but for millions of people who have read it there is a huge influence.

      I am going to post on Cake about a book I am reading as soon as I finish it. It is about a young Stanford Business School graduate who wants to help the poor in Africa. She writes about some of the failures of good hearted people and organizations and why they fail. And she writes about successes. Some of the successes seem small but can go on to affect generations of families as they rise out of poverty.