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Free people take responsibility and solve problems

Star Parker on

Several months ago, before anyone imagined the current crisis, I read a book called "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl.

Frankl was a Jewish Viennese psychiatrist who was captured by the Nazis during World War II and managed to survive four concentration camps including the infamous Auschwitz and Dachau.

He went through the ordeal observing human behavior, and the result was his formulation of a system of therapy he called logotherapy.

Frankl found that those who were most successful, surviving under the most challenging circumstances, were those who retained a sense of meaning in their lives. That is, the real challenge that every person faces is not what's happening outside of themselves but what's happening inside.

In Frankl's own words: "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

He continued: "Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness."

 

With all our talk about freedom, somehow its essence has gotten lost: human beings taking responsibility for their own life and the world around them. Human beings are causes, not results. They are free agents, not victims.

I can't think of a more important message as we face these great challenges today as a nation and as individuals.

The whole idea of America was, and hopefully still is, freedom, which means America must be about individuals taking responsibility.

The country now faces two huge areas of uncertainty and lack of clarity.

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Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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