[E]verything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. - Viktor Frankl
Sometimes, ok ... many times, in the course of my work to protect water or speak out for the earth, I feel overwhelmed with bad news: climate change, disappearing forests, biodiversity loss, great stinkin piles of plastic garbage in the ocean, the list goes on forever.
It's hard to see light and hope in all that dark, so when I find gems like Viktor Frankl's writing or find about organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation, I get the courage again to continue the fight.
Today, again, I chose light. I chose hope.
A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.”
Frankl argues that presence comes from leaning into suffering, not from tensing against it:
When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.