OK. . . so I got this flag counter, only it posted as a post rather than a widget. How do I move the thing to the sidebar so that it keeps a running count? This is very confusing!
As many of you who read my blog know, Richard and I love to take strolls through nature, or hike along trails. Everywhere we have lived, we find special places where we can go to clear our minds, soak in the natural world, and in general renew our spirits. In Virginia we have found a place about thirty minutes from our abode: The Great Falls National Park. I shot the following photos earlier this week. Enjoy.
When the question was put to me, my first reaction was that there is indeed a reason for everything and every event. End of discussion, or so I had hoped. The question was posed days ago, yet I am still pondering the answer. You see, short, quick, tidy, pat answers have never worked for me. Life would be so much simpler if I could accept “short and sweet” but I can’t. The question is still sitting on my brain and begging for a more thoughtful answer.
As soon as I hear the phrase “everything happens for a reason,” I think of those events in life that defy reason: apartheid, the Shoah, loss of a child, ethnic cleansing, starvation in a world of plenty, slavery, etc. Or, why does evil seem to prevail over goodness? Why does an unethical or immoral person prosper at the expense of honesty and integrity? What are the reasons for these inequities?
In my estimation, “meaning can be wrought from everything that happens” is a more accurate statement than “everything happens for a reason.” Stories abound of people who have suffered the unimaginable but have gone on to imbue their lives with meaning and purpose. When the random, senseless tragedy occurs, one gets to choose their attitude, beliefs, reactions and pro-actions regarding the accident.Some of you may be familiar with Viktor Frankl (if not, I urge you to familiarize yourself with his writings.) His book, Man’s Search for Meaning, profoundly affected my outlook on life. Frankl, an established psychiatrist, was imprisoned in Auschwitz and Dachau during World War II. He lost his parents, wife, all but one sibling, aunts and uncles, friends and colleagues in the gas chambers, and all of his worldly possessions and writings, too. While in the camps, Frankl suffered unspeakable brutality, and anticipated being sent to the death chambers any and every moment of his imprisonment. Yet, it was while he was in the midst of this hellish nightmare that Frankl had his epiphany, and recognized that the thing that could never ever be taken from him was his will-to-meaning, his attitude toward any circumstance, the creative will to remain human in an inhuman environment. Through this experience, Frankl developed what came to be known as “logotherapy,” based on the belief that people can survive anything in life, and even thrive as long as they can find/create meaning for their existence.
The efficacy of Frankl’s existential theory is proven time and again in the lives of those who embrace the will-to-meaning, whether they are familiar with Frankl’s theory or not. Listed below are a few links to the stories of individuals whose lives were challenged with senseless tragedies. Each person experienced intense suffering, yet each found the will to live because they chose meaning over meaningless-ness. So, does everything have a reason? No, but in everything there can be found or created a meaningful existence.
If you have other links you would like to add, let me know. I don’t mind making this a very long list! I apologize that these links don’t work. I tried. You will have to copy and paste, but the sites are well worth the effort.
As if I didn’t have enough on my platter, I just joined a new blog group (thanks to The Redneck Princess): Five Question Friday. Every Friday I will receive five questions to answer and blog about. Actually it can be simple, or in-depth, or whatever I want it to be. At any rate, here goes:
My classes have ended for the quarter and now I have three glorious weeks of R&R before I start-up again! I plan to enjoy the time, take lots of photos, write blogs, visit friends and family, sew, travel, read, lose weight, learn a language, (somebody please stop me), play, and generally have a good time.
While I was away, a wonderful, insightful, reflective and inspirational blogger gifted me with three blog awards! That was nice to come back to. :-) So, Elizabeth (check out her blog at Mirth and Motivation when you get a chance), I thank you for taking time to give me a pat on the back. For all of my blogging buddies, I would like to share these awards with you, too, so take one or three, award images to your blog, and link back to me if you please. There is a lot of talent in these pages, and the awards are one way to acknowledge those whom we appreciate and learn from.
Thanks again, Elizabeth, for the awards. :-)
I was asked to share seven things about myself, but since I’ve done that before, I will just link you to that blog.
If you decide to accept these awards, copy them to your blog, tell us about yourself, share with 15 or more of your blogging buddies, and link back to this site! Thanks for stopping by.
I shot these photos back in April when we were visiting friends in eastern Pennsylvania. I spotted this old, worn out, dilapidated chair in the back corner of their yard and thought it would make an interesting photo. I never did anything with the photos however, until now. The theme seems to fit, though. Enjoy.
P.S. Submitted my last paper yesterday afternoon. I have a LOT of blogs to catch up on but I’ll try to get to everyone over the next few weeks before the next quarter begins. I missed seeing y’all and look forward to seeing what you posted while I was gone..