This month feels as though an overloaded truck of lessons has just showed up in my life and unloading its cargo at the doorstep. There is a speed at which events happen and the days vaporize. Somewhere in between school, work and university lies the meaning of it all, I’d like to think. But what that meaning might be or how will all of these things that I am trying to pack in a day, every single day add up, I am not sure. Two weeks went by in confusion. Last week in catching a breath, housekeeping and spending with people who matter. And this week I am just rafting in the daily rapids.
Tonight, in the university library, I was delighted to spot a familiar book. A book that has been tremendously inspiring ever since I read it – Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. And this was strangely tucked in a shelf of public policy books. What a little gem. Being unreasonable, I’d like to think that its being in that shelf is a message of sorts. For, it makes me stop and look back at the infectiously hopeful prose with which Frankl manages to convey that human spirit is indeed indomitable.
The book takes me back to these lines where Frankl speaks of success and happiness –
Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.
It amazes me to imagine how he lived his days in the concentration camps and what sort of will power saw him through the end of each day in those terribly hopeless places. Reading his memoir is to calibrate ones own life and its situations and realize that one can get through in a nicer, livelier and positive way. For, every situation is transient.