Viktor Frankl and His Famous 1972 Speech

A prominent 20th century psychologist Viktor Frankl was a survivor of Holocaust. He spent years in several concentration camps, and in each and every one of them he was able to continue his doctoral and academic practice. He found salvation in Love, and subsequently became a source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists. The video contains an extract from his lecture at one American university in 1972 in which he speaks of the importance of idealism as a path to true realism in life.

My mother knew nothing about Frankl, and neither did her mother-in-law. Still, they both brought up their children – me and my father, respectively – as people with a total belief in their ability to do something. Somehow I’ve also had a total lack of fear instilled in me – or so my mother and those who know me say.

As for me, I always, totally go out of my way, if only verbally, to encourage someone to do something they want to do but are afraid of doing. I’ve thought myself to be an incorrigible idealist, and indeed, this is so, but I’ve never seen a problem with it, and now, having watched Frankl’s video, I have no doubt this is the only way to be. It may be hard, and you may find that sometimes you play a glass bead game with someone who does not really need your encouragement, for they are entirely happy to follow a course of mediocrity and land miles away and off-course from the goal. But the beauty is that someone else, who is in a much greater need for what you have to say, will hear, be inspired and do something that will live forever.

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