BeeOasis Step 4
A TED Talk by Viktor Frankl
They wish to make a lot of money. In Europe every American student, even more, every American adult is regarded as someone who is just out to make a lot of money. Really. What? Sixteen percent, 16% of these students regarded their main goal and concern in life to make a lot of money. I’m quoting literally, make a lot of money.
And you know what the top class . . . the top category . . . you say category or “cat-egory”? What do you say? Category was among . . . you . . . excuse me, but I . . . I know I’m speaking in marvelous accent without the slightest English. Now . . . [Laughter and applause] You know, you know what the top category was? Seventy-eight percent of these American youngsters were concerned, as they expressed it themselves, with finding a meaning and purpose in their lives. So this is a realistic, a realistic view of man.
And you know . . . you won’t believe it. Gray . . . gray hair, my age . . . I started taking flying lessons recently. Do you know what my flying instructor told me? If you’re starting here, wish to get here . . . say . . . east . . . heading for this . . . and you have a crosswind, you will drift, and you will land here, so you have to do what the pilots call crabbing – he told me – “crab,” crabbing. You have to head for north of this. . . airfield, and you have to fly that way, you see? As if you are headed in this direction. If you are heading here, above this airfield, then you will actually land here, but if you head for here, you are landing here.
So we have to be idealist in a way because then we wind up at the true, the real ‘is’ and you know who has said this? “If we take man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take man as he should be we make him capable of becoming what he can be.” This was not my flight instructor, this was not me, this was Goethe.
He said this verbally. And now you will understand why I in one of my writings once said . . . this is the most apt maxim and motto for any psychotherapeutic activity. So if you don’t recognise a young man’s will to meaning, man’s search for meaning, you make him worse, you make him dull, you make him frustrated, you still add and contribute to his frustration.
While, if you presuppose in this man . . . if in this so-called criminal or juvenile delinquent or drug abuser, and so forth . . . there must be . . . a what do you call it? A spark . . . a spark of search for meaning. Let’s recognize this . . . Let’s presuppose it, and then you will elicit it from him, and you will make him become what he in principle is capable of becoming.