In the face of terror, the human spirit endures

In the face of terror, the human spirit endures
Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

CBS News Anchor, Scott Pelley, had a moving close to his November 18th newscast, where he was reporting from Paris in the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks. Somehow Pelley found just the right words and images to touch our hearts.

Reflecting on what had happened just days before, he wondered how parents can ever adequately explain to their children, as he aptly put it: “What is the meaning of life, if life is lost so easily to those who hate?”

Pelley shared the compelling story of a father of a 17 month old boy dealing with the heartbreak of losing “the love of his life”. Yet this man somehow found the strength within himself to write a letter to his wife’s murderers–telling them in no uncertain terms: “You will not have my hatred. This little boy will insult you by being happy.”

Pelley reminded us all of what Victor Frankl, the noted Austrian psychiatrist & neurologist wrote after surviving the Nazi death camps, but losing his wife, parents and brother: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose ones own way.” That quote is from Frankel’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, which was first published back in 1946 in Vienna, yet is every bit as relevant today.

It is worth remembering something else Frankl said: “There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in ones life.”

CBS Evening News, 11/19/15

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