One of the central truths in this movie is the concept of self-transcendence. This is what we have been exploring all of December, and this is the core of it: We find meaning and purpose in using our virtues, talents, and gifts to bless others.
It is always a joy to hear, and recount, stories of triumph. It is no coincidence or miracle that the poem “Silent Night” by Joseph Mohr was destined to fill the homes and hearts of people on that holy Christmas Eve of 1818.
Viktor Frankl believed that “what was really needed [for a meaningful life] was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.”
As he is now in hospice care, many would pity him and his condition. And though it was a somber atmosphere and sobering visit, I found it beautiful to see all his family gathering around him here near the end of his life…
Most of us are on a quest to be happy. But happiness is too often about what we can take in from the external world to make us feel good. Frankl argues that the best life is a life in search of meaning. In a world set on consumption, pleasure, and superficial happiness, Frankl wants to flip the question, “What can I get?” to “What is wanted of me?” This is a paradigm shift that takes us from the realm of self-actualization to self-transcendence.