Open Letter To Victor Frankl
To Viktor Frankl.
From my early teenage years, I learnt to find flaws in myself and I taught myself to feel insecure. And the reason couldn't only be the fact that I am and was living in a judgemental society. By the age of 17, I started to feel extreme anxiety and I accepted it. I accepted the fact that I was anxious and couldn't help it. I accepted feeling this way while knowing that being socially anxious wasn't a good thing. I would admit that I looked down upon myself because of this knowledge
In September of 2020, I had an opportunity to take part in a training program to become a human dignity defender who works for an international NGO. In the training, we- trainees had to read a collection of relevant books, articles, declarations, white papers and research papers, surrounding the topic of Human Dignity
And that is where I found your book, in the chapter of freedom. "Man's Search For Meaning the name itself didn't make much sense before reading your book, but it made me realize that the book wasn't just about a man searching for a meaning to his life, it constitutes so much more than that. The book doesn't just tell about a search for a meaningful life, but finding meaning in a seemingly distressing and painful life.Although the contents of the book sometimes became too painful to read but I still continued, I could say I wept a little too.
And by the end of the book I seriously felt a slap sent to me through your words, a reprimand which made me shake my head and reconsider life choices. This line from your book, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way brought a proper epiphany.
Everything, every choice that I've made, started to unravel before me and I realized that I never allowed myself to be free. I never let myself be free from the shackles of having a reputation, public image, being flawless, and perfect. I, as a human, am not supposed to be perfect. I'm not supposed to represent flawlessness because I'm born to be me. I never let myself know that I was and am free, free to choose what to like and how to be myself, free to choose my attitude, free to feel confident and unanxious.
I still cannot believe that I was living my life without realizing the truth of real freedom, and that is why I can't thank you enough for writing those words. I know, for sure that your book not just helped me but so many other people like me. May your soul rest in peace!
Laiba Karim Khan.
Laiba Karim Khan is an Eighteen year old student who resides in Karachi, Pakistan. She is currently a student of National University of Modern Languages, and is doing bachelor's in English Literature and Linguistics. During the start of pandemic in 2020, she has had an opportunity to be a part of an organization called "World Youth Alliance".