Lesson for the Day: A person ‘s life finds meaning in sacrificial love, that is, giving up something worthwhile for the sake of others.
“… [S]hortly before Pearl Harbor, I was asked to come to the American Consulate to pick up my visa. Then I hesitated. Should I leave my parents behind? I knew what their fate would be: deportation to a concentration camp. Should I say goodbye, and leave them to their fate? The visa applied to me alone.
“Undecided, I left home, took a walk, and had this thought: ‘Isn’t this the kind of situation that requires some hint from heaven?’ When I returned home, my eyes fell on a little piece of marble lying on the table.
“‘What’s this’ I asked my father.
“‘This? Oh, I picked it out of the rubble of the synagogue they have burned down. It has on it part of the Ten Commandments. I can even tell you from which commandment it comes. There is only one commandment that uses the letter that is chiseled here.’
“‘And that is…?’ I asked eagerly.
“Then father gave me this answer: ‘Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’
“Thus I stayed ‘upon the land’ with my parents, and let the visa lapse.”
Meaning of the Quote: Viktor Frankl decides to stay in Austria, entering the concentration camps with his family.
Source: Viktor E. Frankl, Viktor Frankl Recollections: An Autobiography, trans. Joseph Fabry and Judith Fabry (New York, N.Y.: Plenum Press, 1997), pp. 82-83.