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katehaney

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08:47 am: thank goodness for Frankl
One of my favorite quotations is from Viktor Frankl, who wrote "Suffering is like a gas: it expands to fit the available space." Not only does it reflect Frankl's own extraordinary compassion (it was his response to someone who asked how, as a therapist, he could stand listening to people's petty problems, knowing his whole family had been killed in Auschwitz), but also it applies in many situations less important than suffering (just to go all recursive 'n' stuff): paychecks, books, hard drive storage, etc.

In any case, it's particularly applicable today.

My own 9/11-related suffering is indirect... family of a friend of a friend, husband of my mother's former assistant. So I know the impact was dreadful and unjust and the suffering brutal and horrible, but I didn't experience it myself.

I had a bad, mid-day commute home that day. I had a frantic week afterward, organizing a fundraiser (I had to do something).

Yep, I got nothin'.

Today, I've got less. No personal memorials to make. No horrific experiences to relive. No specific mourning to do. Just lingering sorrow and deep sympathy for those who continue to suffer.

And yet I'm comforted to know that Frankl, whom I admire and respect enormously, would sympathize with my morning too. Amoxicillin sprayed all over the kitchen and me. OJ dripped all over the just-cleaned and not-yet-dry floor. And cramps.

Given the tiny little sphere that is my world, and its remove from the horrors of 11 years ago, I'm going to try to apply some Frankl in my own life, especially today, and remember that everyone does suffer and does deserve a moment of sympathy, even in their own, small, quiet, undramatic ways. Even me and my nasty, sticky floor and pile of nasty, sticky laundry.

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