30 Minute Meditations on Being Human from the Life and Writings of Viktor Frankl, Day 16: Work Has Meaning

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Founder of Logotherapy

Lesson for the Day: Work has meaning or value because of a person’s attitude toward it, not only because of the work itself.

“[W]hen a nurse does some little thing beyond her more or less regimented duties, when, say, she finds a personal word to say to a critically ill person — then and only then is she giving meaning to her life through her work. Every occupation allows for this, so long as the work is seen in the proper light. The indispensability and irreplaceability, the singularity and uniqueness issue from the person, depend on who is doing the work and on the manner in which he is doing it, not on the job itself.”

Source: Viktor E. Frankl, 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. 119.