When faced with hard times is there a way to become a better person rather than a bitter person?
I suspect that all of us have encountered some times in our lives that were really hard. For me in my hardest times I oscillated between not really wanting to get out of bed and being filled with rage at people whom I felt had betrayed me, or at life for not being fair. What does it mean?
Why did this awful thing happen to me? When I was in college I picked up a book by Viktor Frankl called Man's Search for Meaning. It rocked me to the core. Sent to Nazi concentration camp, Frankl suffered experiences few of us could imagine. Yet from that horror emerged such a gem of wisdom in the man and his manuscript.
I turn to him as a reminder of the potential nobility of humans who, when faced with horror, respond with depth, beauty and love. Rather than becoming a bitter man he became a better man - a brilliant man. He gave us a beautiful gift. A sample quotation: "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that 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."
Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning(available in Germen, too) I remember this when I have moments of self-pity or feelings that somehow things are all going to heck. I remember this man and the kindness of those in the camps who gave away their last piece of bread. And I remember inside of me is a power to choose.
How will I respond? Will I become bitter? Or better? What do you think? Your thoughts are welcome! Blessings to all of you...
Cindy Wigglesworth is President/CEO of Deep Change, Inc. She lives in Houston, Texas.