I am a legend in my own world. But I am only something in the real world.
In the breezy autumn days of September, Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist, finds himself lost, hungry, and beyond frightened. It is the era of the Nazi party, a time filled with changes and unspeakable horrors. Seemingly all out of options, Frankl is imprisoned, with little hope of ever escaping the ultimate fate that many Jews will face throughout those years-death.
Bryan Warnecke, a fifteen year old boy, wakes up on a Sunday morning. The early hours of each day are usually spent rubbing away the sleep in your eyes, getting prepared for your destination, and deciding on what to eat for breakfast. Bryan’s mornings begin with a pipe, a tube, and a machine. For fifteen years, he has been living with Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that attacks the digestive system and slowly shuts down the lungs.
The average lifespan is 70 years of age. Bryan is only expected to live until he’s 30.
Two lives that are set apart by 94 years.
Two very different people.
Two inspirational stories.
And yet they are the same. Even though both fates seems grim, they retain the one important freedom that can never be taken away.
They have the power to determine their response from the events that unfold before them.
Both Frankl and and Bryan had a choice. They could chose to let their surroundings dictate their actions and wallow into self desire or they could chose to LIVE, to live out the moments, to imagine, to dream, to change, to love, to experience, to cry, and to be who they wanted to be.
And that’s exactly what they did.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”-Viktor Frankl
Everyday, Frankl and Bryan live with the prospect of imminent death. Yet even with this ever growing burden placed on their heads, it doesn’t stop them from falling head first into any situation they face.
They turned their experiences into something so much more. Frankl, who survived the Holocaust, took those horrors and created hope through this:
This book has been translated into over 24 languages, became one of the most influential books, and has put the story of life into a whole new light.
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by a lack of meaning and purpose.”-Viktor Frankl(Man’s Search for Meaning)
In this novel, Frankl concludes that the meaning of life is found in EVERY moment of living. Life itself never ceases to hold meaning, even in the face of suffering and death. Because those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.
For Bryan, its the same story. Despite his rigorous treatment which include over 50 pills and breathing machines, Bryan is a double black diamond skier, avid skateboarder, a long distance cyclist, and one of the best hockey goalies in the state.
I believe in living every second to the fullest, taking the jump without the fear of the fall and taking the pain while I give it my ALL.
Because there will come a time where we doubt ourselves, question ourselves, and second guess ourselves. Is it all worth the risk? Well…. I’ll tell this:
I hope that one day I’ll be able to live for myself, to understand the meaning of life, and to be able to say this:
With every broken bone, I swear I Lived.-One Republic
I hope the same goes for you.
P.S.-I cried after I watched this video. It tells a great story and I highly recommend it.