“We who lived the 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 significant proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of his freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” – Viktor Frankl
Viktor E. Frankl (1905 – 1997) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, however he is best remembered as a Holocaust survivor. The very thought of the people he spoke of in the quote above is as mind-boggling as it is touching. This is one of my all-time favorite quotes because the truth it preaches is something I embrace with all my heart and soul.
Many of the things that happen to us are beyond our control.
- loved ones get sick
- accidents happen
- dreams fall through
- jobs are lost
- the economy bites
- we grow older (an adventure in itself)
- children grow up
- and the beat goes on!
Irregardless of what life throws your way, you will always have one freedom: As Frankl so eloquently worded it, we always have the freedom to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. Choose wisely!
To learn more about Viktor Frankl, read his biography, Recollections: An Autobiography.