I spent the last week in Arizona on vacation with my family, a welcome time away from the busy-ness of normal life. In addition to enjoying card games over dinner, I found time to read for pleasure! It was delightful! I read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. I will spend the next few posts downloading some of the wisdom I gained from this hero of World War II.
Frankl’s central argument is that (wo)man can find meaning in three things: 1) an act of creation or creativity; 2) in people or experiences; 3) in unavoidable suffering.
My time in Arizona was full of meaning. I created while I was there. My daughter asked me to make her a purse, so I crocheted one on the drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. Not only was it meaningful to her that her mom made her a little pouch, but also I found incredible meaning and peaceful contemplation in the act of creating that turquoise purse-ette. She proudly sported it the remainder of our journey and we all took joy in looking at it.
It goes without saying that we enjoyed quality time together as a family. We hiked national parks, explored different cities, and learned all sorts of things about the geological and botanical landscape of different parts of Arizona. The time spent with loved ones gaining new experiences was enriching.
Notably missing from Frankl’s list of what gives life meaning? Things.