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  • David Still

Staying Hopeful in Tough Times

By Rob Halik -

Staying positive can be difficult when everything seems to be at counter-purposes with your agenda. Right now, no one must be reminded of the burdens brought on by our present situation: anxiety over health and finance concerns are obvious. Other related difficulties such as depression or a feeling of despair may be less so but just as real.

One of the positive reminders of the human condition that has been brought to the fore by present circumstances is the desire to transcend deep pain and suffering in a meaningful way. Of course, when thinking of this topic, one cannot help but think of the oft quoted Victor Frankl – the progenitor of this existential line of thinking in modern times.

Frankl’s thinking in this area developed from his experience within a German concentration camp during WW2. He concluded that “striving to find meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man (Frankl 1992, p. 104).”

To the degree that this is so, we should expect to see people with self-actualizing tendencies striving, in often very creative ways, to find a way to mine some positive outcome from this trying time. To not do so would be to let the horror of this time win out.

Fortunately, Frankl’s insight seems to shine bright against our present situation as there are many examples of people determined to fight back and push to derive positive meaning and purpose from a terrible situation.

We are seeing this time and again these days and it is a win for all of us needing to know that we also have a say in the circumstances we find ourselves. We do not always have control over our situation, but we do have control over the meaning we seek and its application to our betterment.

I have included some links. I hope you find them encouraging.

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