So we’re trapped… Locked away in our own homes, and in these current circumstances it’s probably for the best. Even though I’m sure the majority of us are comfortable within our own living spaces, to some this period of isolation can be likened to a prison. Isolation for an introverted writer, like myself, is a breeze. I have a loving family and roof above my head; for this I am very grateful. Some people however, home is not somewhere that is quite as liveable. Many people crave social interaction outdoors and equate being stuck inside to being locked in a cage. Isolation is going to affect everyone in different ways… but some more negatively than others. Domestic abuse will affect one in four women during their lifetime, and one in six men, domestic violence also accounts for sixteen per cent of all violent crime per year in the U.K. Many victims will be trapped at home with their abusers, and home will not seem quite so appetising. Although, in very different conditions and circumstances, arguably a lot worse, this is something Frankl writes about in his book Mans Search For Meaning.
This book can help each and every one of us and teach us a lifelong lesson about dealing with the mentality of the prisoner…
Who is Viktor Frankl?
Frankl was an Austrian Psychiatrist, born March 26 1905, into a family of Jewish civil servants. In 1942, Frankl and his family were arrested by the Nazi’s and sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp. Over the course of the second world war he was moved to multiple camps until he was eventually liberated in 1945. He was the only member of his family to survive. After his experiences he dedicated his life to understanding the prisoner mentality and using existential analysis as a tool to treat depression.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”Viktor Frankl
The story of human loss, human suffering and above all Frankl’s eventual triumph is truly remarkable. His book “Man’s Search for Meaning” deals with what it means to be a victim, to be a prisoner and how to beat the circumstances however severe and cruel, which we will face as human beings. He suggests that our suffering is inevitable. His book has sold over ten million copies worldwide and should be in the library of every human being who has felt pain in their lives… basically everyone!
The Books Relevance Today…
Sadly Frankl passed away in 1997, but his philosophies are still just as topical and relevant today. With coronavirus sweeping the planet many of us will lose loved ones, many of us will indeed suffer. With Viktor Frankl’s book, whatever your situation, we can hold onto the deepest part of what makes us human. When all freedom and individuality is stripped away we are left with one choice: how will we respond to the situations we find ourselves in?