Hello. Welcome to December. I hope you’re healthy, safe, and as warm as could be expected during these cold times. I’ve reviewed one book this week (due to it being a busy last week of classes). It’s a very meaningful book, though. I’ve also included a list of organizations you can donate to in order to support Ukrainians in need.
(Note: This review mentions suicide.)
Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything, by Viktor Frankl,
Narrated by David Rintoul
“What we create, experience, and suffer in this time, we create, experience, and suffer for all eternity. As far as we bear responsibility for an event, as far as it is ‘history,’ our responsibility, it is overwhelmingly burdened by the fact that something that has happened cannot be taken out of the world. However, at the same time, an appeal is made to our responsibility precisely to bring what has not yet happened into the world.”
Victor Frankl is famous for his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, and for creating Logotherapy (existentialist therapy). Yes To Life: in Spite of Everything contains lectures he gave that became the foundation for Man’s Search for Meaning. Surprisingly, these lectures were only published in English in 2020.
The lectures are about the pointlessness of suicide, the unethical nature of euthanasia, Frankl’s own experiences in a concentration camp, and the ultimate power people have to create meaning in spite of everything that may seem to strip life of any meaning it may have had.
The book was terrific in getting this last (and main) point across. Some people may lose heart in the face of adversity (of any kind), but others can see it as a call to meaning and come to approach life with more determination and intention.
Overall, if you’re looking for a convincing case for life’s enduring meaningfulness, or are interested in tracing the development of Frankl’s philosophy, I would strongly recommend Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything.
As promised, here’s a list of organizations you can donate to in order to support Ukrainians in need. Please do so if you are able.
The Salvation Army–Provides food, warm bedding, stoves, and hygiene kits to Ukrainians in need. Donate here: https://sawso.org/sawso/ukraine-disaster-and-refugee-relief
Direct Relief–Gives medical aid to Ukrainians in need. Donate here: https://www.directrelief.org/emergency/ukraine-crisis/
Project HOPE–Gives medical and mental health support to refugees in Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, and Romania. Donate here: https://www.projecthope.org/crisis-in-ukraine-how-to-help/04/2022/
Core–Provides medical, food, cash, and long-term support to Ukrainians in need. Donate here: https://www.coreresponse.org/ukraine/