Studying the works of Victor Frankl again this year, I was reminded of why I was so drawn to his teachings many years ago. After having been stripped of rights, freedoms, and priveledges and placed in a concentration camp during the tyrranical reign of Hitler and his followers, Frankl remained mentally and emotionally strong.. He spent the remainder of his career writing, teaching, counseling, and speaking about the power of choice. He said we continue to have internal choices even when all external choices have been taken away. He argued these interal choices are the crucial ones that determine the state of our minds and emotions.
I often think about the brilliant, meaning BRIGHT, examples of those who persevered under the harshest and bleakest of circumstances and continued to uplift, encourage, and love. Others choose to brand themselves as victims and repeat the cycle of error and harm that they blame for their own discontent. Each time I witness a person building upon a broken legacy of another instead of creating one of value for himself and his child, it hurts my own heart. It does not have to be. It does not.
I find one inspirational person after another along the pathway of life that shine as lights in this dark world. Their previous circumstances may have been horrendous, but they have chosen to break new ground, to chart a different course, to learn to live differently than what they were forced to live before. They choose to be overcomers. They choose to refuse to be bound by the past. They recognize and celebrate the freedom of a new day, a new opportunity, and the gift of choice.