30 Minute Meditations on Being Human from the Life and Writings of Viktor Frankl, Day 26: Someone, Not Something

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One in Six Billion People

Lesson for the Day: With billions of human beings in the world, why do you matter? What makes you so special? You are someone, somebody, that is, a unique, non-repeatable, concrete, specific, here-and-now individual. In other words, you are a person.

Dr. Frankl’s psychotherapy, which he calls “Logotherapy,” teaches that a human being is sui generis, which I loosely translate as “one of a kind.” Frankl, then, stresses

“the unconditional value of each and every person. It is that which warrants the indelible quality of the dignity of man. Just as life remains potentially meaningful under any conditions, even those which are the most miserable, so too does the value of each and every person stay with him or her.”1

There is no repeating you, even by the most perfect biological duplicate. Therefore, only you can be you and that is what makes you unique, special, “different from all other human beings,” says Frankl.2

Footnotes

  1. Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, 3rd ed. (New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 1984), p. 151.
  2. ———-, The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy, trans. Richard and Clara Winston, 3rd ed. (New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books/ Random House, 1986), p. 72.

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