Blog: Man's Search For Meaning - Recommended Reading - 2010-08-30
Viktor Fankl survived several Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz.
Only one out of twenty-eight so imprisoned survived the ordeal. Frankl closely observed for the common denominator of those few who did survive. He did not find a single physical, physiological, cultural, or religious factor in common.
Instead, he discovered that those with a strong enough purpose (he calls it a meaning) to carry out were the ones who made it. There was no common purpose shared among them all. There was not even a predominant commonality of purpose. Some simply had a purpose to see a loved one again. Some felt work they had begun prior to incarceration was so important they found a way to endure what for others was certain death. Frankl himself fell into the latter category, and it so happened that the work he wanted to complete paralleled the observations he wrote about.