What Makes This Life Worthy?

blackboard with your life matters inscription on black background
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

There is no predicament which
cannot be ennobled either by
an achievement or by endurance.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

[I]magine that you are sitting in a concert hall and listening to your favourite symphony, and your favourite bars of the symphony resound in your ears, and you are so moved by the music that it sends shivers down your spine; and now imagine that it would be possible (something that is psychologically so impossible) for someone to ask you in this moment whether your life has meaning. I believe you would agree with me if I declared that in this case you would go something like: ‘It would have been worth it to have lived for this moment alone!

Those who experience, not the arts, but nature, may have a similar response, and also those who experience another human being. Do we not know the feeling that overtakes us when we are in the presence of a particular person, and roughly translates as: the fact that this person exists in the world at all, this alone makes this world, and a life in it, meaningful.

We give life meaning through our actions, but also through loving and finally, through suffering. Because how human beings deal with the limitation of their possibilities regarding how it affects their actions and their ability to love, how they behave under these restrictions — the way in which they accept their suffering under such restrictions — in all of this they still remain capable of fulfilling human values. So, how we deal with difficulties truly shows who we are, and that, too, can enable us to live meaningfully.

[Note: If even one moment of appreciation makes life precious, we should appreciate and live life fully, as it can have many more possible precious moments. Yet, when it is time to let this life go, it is a precious moment too, for letting it go, with full appreciation too.]

Viktor E. Frankl
Yes to Life in Spite of Everything

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