If someone had seen our faces on the journey from Auschwitz to a Bavarian camp as we beheld the mountains of Salzburg with their summits glowing in the sunset, through the little barred windows of the prison carriage, he would never have believed that those were the faces of men who had given up all hope of life and liberty.
I find it interesting that in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Pierre Bezukhov has a similar experience to Frankl when he is falsely imprisoned for arson. One morning, Pierre recognises the awe of,
a sudden glint of light in the east followed by the sun’s rim rising majestically from behind a cloud, and the domes and crosses, the hoar-frost, the horizon and the river all merrily sparkling in the new light
As Andrew Kaufman describes in Give War and Peace a Chance,
Suddenly there is no better place to be–no world to save, no utopia to create, no alcohol or beautiful woman or poker game in which to seek intoxication [...]
Instead, circumstances force Pierre to “plant his feet firmly on the ground, and live, like [the peasant Platon Karataev], in the here and now”.
Look around. If you spot “a sudden glint of light”, try to savour it for a moment.
Logotherapy and stoicism in Viktor E. Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning
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