Life’s A Beach Isn’t It?
“Life is a bitch and then you die”, is that right? Well, actually, no.
Is life is a beach, a mountain, a vast plain, a city, town, and suburb? Partly. But whatever and wherever it is, life is bigger than our imaginings.
When I occasionally here someone say, “Life’s a bitch and then you die”, it strikes me as a profoundly small-minded statement. I mean, is that all somebody can interpret from the gift that life is?
Don’t get me wrong. Life can be harrowing and hard. It can be full of suffering and grief. But that doesn’t make it “wrong” or pointless. Only we can decide that.
It makes me think about Viktor Frankel, the great Viennese psychiatrist who survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. Here was a man who could rightfully declare life is a pointless and unmitigated waste. But he didn’t.
Far from it. Instead, surviving the holocaust, Viktor Frankel developed a new form of therapy to help people live well. He called it, “Logotherapy” and it emphasizes the importance of meaning to live life well.
In spite of the atrocities and injustices of life, Frankel believed that meaning could turn something dreadful into something beautiful.
To me, Viktor Frankel was one of the greatest people of the Twentieth Century, because he stared down alienation, death, and meaninglessness, and identified that it’s our purpose to make something worthy of our existence.
Is life a bitch? If we believe it to be, we can justify it. Is life a beach? Again, if we choose it be then life takes on the character of parties, beach going, and good times. Either way, those parts of life that clash are dismissed.
Me? I don’t believe either. Just that there are happy and sad times in every life. But what we make from these experiences is the part that matters most. We are empowered with the capacity to make our lifetime something worthwhile. Regardless what happens, we have the power of meaning to make it what we will.
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