“If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”
German psychoanalyst Viktor Frankl, a past Hour of Power guest and esteemed friend of my grandfather, was such a great thinker when it came to human suffering. His wisdom came from experience. During WWII, he was interred in a concentration camp merely because he was born a Jew. He was treated worse than an animal, physically and mentally abused until all dignity was gone.
Over 75% of the Jews that were interned in concentration camps died. So, all around him, Viktor saw people he respected and loved – his friends, his family, intelligent, wonderful people – dying left and right. Viktor was brought down to the bare-bones-soul of what it meant to live with nothing in the midst of the most heinous and treacherous suffering.
Later, he gave us tremendous wisdom when he said, “Even when they take away your dignity, even when they take away your clothes, and your warmth, even when they take everything away from you, there is one thing they can never take from you – your ability to choose how you will respond.” It’s your choice on how you will respond to imperfect conditions – that is something that no one can ever take away from you.
PRAYER: Today, Lord, I am not going to look at the conditions around me. Instead, I am looking to you for the strength I need to face the ups and downs of life. Amen.
REFLECTION: Are you waiting for the “perfect” time or set of circumstances to start something or change something in your life? What are you waiting for?