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It has taken some time to get around to writing about this pocket-sized book, and that is because reading it once isn’t enough. Seeing as it has sold over 12 million copies, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is bound to be in one of your bookshelves. If it is, I highly recommend fishing it out and having a squiz (that’s Australian slang for ‘taking a look’). Otherwise locate a copy in the nearest (online or physical) bookstore and pop it into your shopping basket.

Viktor Frankl chronicles his experiences of surviving in concentration camps during WWII and writes about finding hope and meaning when humanity seems at its worst. He details his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning and explains three psychological phases of the concentration inmate’s reaction to this painful suffering.

The book is divided in two parts with a postscript added in 1984, ‘Experiences in a Concentration Camp,’ ‘Logotheraphy in a Nutshell’ and ‘The Case for a Tragic Optimism.’ I can’t say it was enjoyable reading about the horrors of camp life, the atrocities of the war and the degradation of fellow human beings. Nevertheless, this is an amazing testimony to the strength of human spirit and the tragic optimist who sees hope when utter despair and pain has broken so many others.

Frankl writes using an unusual combination of a personal and clinical style of writing, fostered by his practise as a psychoanalyst. He discusses his idea of meaning and explains his psychotherapeutic theory of logotheraphy.

In brief, according to logotheraphy meaning can be discovered by:
1. creating a work or doing a deed
2. experiencing something or encountering someone (such goodness, beauty, nature, culture, and loving someone)
3. the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering

The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day-to-day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment… One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.

There is so much I can share about this book; the way it made my heart swell sometimes, or choke back tears at other times. The spiritual strength and belief which blossomed despite the repeated attempts to crush it. The reality check and renewed appreciation for my own life. And the feeding of my hunger and longing to search for meaning and becoming a better person.

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This article appeared in Mx last week (the free metropolitan newspaper) – before you berate me for reading that ‘newspaper’ let me say, I know I know, you wouldn’t categorise this publication as hard-hitting journalism. In fact, it can be quite trashy and ridiculous at times. But it’s free, and stupid. I need a dose of stupid sometimes.

Onto the article itself! What do you think?

The thing that struck me most was this line: “It’s no wonder girls keep playing games – we’re not supposed to call, we’re not supposed to chase, we’re not supposed to come on too strong.”

There will be some with stories of how they met their man by being straightforward and forthright, but I would have to say my thoughts are attuned with that line. Or at least, that’s how it feels. Not only do many girls spend time analysing text messages, conversations etc., but they also analyse how ‘eager’ they come across, if it’s too much. Maybe it should be toned down. What if he thinks I don’t like him then? If he liked me wouldn’t he try anyway? Maybe I’m reading it all wrong. I just want to know!!!

Have you ever played any tricks to get the attention of someone?

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Can anyone guess where this photograph was taken? It is overlooking an ancient city in a country which holds about 3 million people, but has over 10 million people scattered around the world.

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Latest and Greatest

This is going to be a series of posts about my latest attachment – to a website, television show, fashionable item and whatever is ‘greatest’. It may not be the most recent thing around, but it’s nice to share the good things in life.

 

Let me begin with… THE GOOD WIFE

First, I would like to state that channel 10 has grossly misrepresented the show in their sensationalised advertisements. The ads just turn me off. Thankfully I already love the show and watch it the day it airs in America so I can (try to) ignore these things.

Julianna Margulies plays Alicia Florrick who is the wife of a disgraced politician, Peter (played by Chris Noth).

Channel 10 describes the show further:

The Good Wife is a drama starring Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as a wife and mother who boldly assumes full responsibility for her family and re-enters the workforce after her husband’s very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail.

Pushing aside the betrayal and crushing public humiliation caused by her husband, Peter, Alicia Florrick starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney.

As a junior associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, she joins her longtime friend, former law school classmate and firm partner Will Gardner, who is interested to see how Alicia will perform after 13 years out of the courtroom. Alicia is grateful the firm’s top litigator, Diane Lockhart, offers to mentor her but discovers the offer has conditions and realises she’s going to need to succeed on her own merit.

Alicia’s main competition among the firm’s 20-something new recruits is Cary, a recent Harvard grad who is affable on the surface, but will use any means to ensure that he, not Alicia, secures the one full-time associate position that’s available.

Fortunately, Alicia finds an ally in Kalinda, the firm’s tough in-house investigator.

Gaining confidence every day, Alicia transforms herself from embarrassed politician’s scorned wife to resilient career woman, especially for the sake of providing a stable home for her children, 14-year-old Zach and 13-year-old Grace.

For the first time in years, Alicia trades in her identity as the “good wife” and takes charge of her own destiny.

Julianna’s portrayal of Alicia Florrick is superb. The writers of the show must be congratulated on creating such a strong, centered and sometimes vulnerable female character. Some people may ask; why doesn’t she just leave her husband Peter? This question is deliberately invoked by the show, and part of the tension is in finding out why.

Pictures from tvfanatic.com

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