Posted by: Don Linnen | 30 November 2015

The Search for Meaning

Another life lesson was handed out this month. Terrorism in Paris, France accounted for 130 deaths. Reactions ranged from devastating sadness to fear and calls for revenge.

A few days after the attack, Scott Pelley on the CBS Evening News provided that excellent life lesson. It is grounded in the past, pertinent for today, and will remain valuable as long as our planet exists.

His reminder is that we’ve seen senseless evil before in cafes, theaters, schools, office buildings, churches, and other settings all over the world. Every time there are grievous losses of life.

EVERY TIME we try to figure out why.

Pelley points us to the defiant letter of Antoine Leirice who refused to give in to the Paris terrorists who killed his wife – the love of his life and mother of his 17-month-old son.

Leirice asserted that the terrorists will not have his hatred. He will not enter into the death spiral of revenge. He goes on to say that his “little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom.” 

Pelley concludes his lesson with a quote and a rhetorical question. He reminds us of the remarkable Viktor Frankl who lost so many people he loved in concentration camps during WWII. In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl wrote: 

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude…”

Pelley encourages us to search inside of ourselves.  He says: “In these times don’t ask the meaning of life. Life is asking: ‘what’s the meaning of you?’ “

It’s a very good question.

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