Inspireme #3- Mans search for meaning and V for Vendetta

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

I just got done reading Victor Frankls wonderful essay on his time within the concentration camps during world war 2. But much more than a memoir of his time there, it is a mans attempt to understand and come to terms with how people are capable of treating others in such a horrendous way and to understand why others survive through such hardship while others do not.

Assuredly much of said survival can be attributed to luck, but I think it is less about how someone can survive in the physical sense and more of how some people are able to keep their sanity, to remember what it is to have values and ideas that reach beyond the simple notion of just staying alive.

Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

After reading the novel I went back and re-watched the wonderful film V for Vendetta. A story of revenge leading to redemption, our protagonist is a victim who through knowledge and compassion understands that there is more to life than simply living, that life without values that encompass all of humanity is meaningless and that to give up your life upholding those values is to live a full life.  It is why at the end when he acknowledged his own purely selfish desire for revenge he passed the torch of decision to Evey, knowing that she was much more pure of heart and connected to the world that needed to be built.

“I shall die here. Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one. An inch. It’s small and it’s fragile and it’s the only thing in the world worth having. we must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

In both the novel and the movie, we see two men and women who through much hardship came to discover things about themselves and the world that they did not fully understand before. They understood that life in and of itself only has meaning when lived by a personal code of ethics and honor.

We of the human race search desperately for some meaning to life, but that meaning is right in front of us, it is to live by the values that we find worthy, to give  and receive love with dignity and grace and to bring pleasure to those around us by doing that which gives us pleasure.  There is nothing more that is needed. Moulin Rouge imparted it best: All you need is love.

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Take all this to show that with the right perspective and will there is always opportunity for change, to be the person you know you are meant to be.

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