Victor Frankl and Responsibility

David McMillian hosts an hour-long weekly radio program entitled, “Strategies for Living.” When he interviewed me for his program, he mentioned Viktor Frankl. Dr. Frankl was a professor of both neurology and psychology at the University of Vienna and a prolific writer. Perhaps his most famous book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” describes what he learned in surviving three Nazi death camps. This short book has a profound positive effect on anyone who reads it.

McMillian commented that Dr. Frankl suggested that what America needed was a “Statue of Responsibility” on the West Coast to balance the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast.

Society’s emphasis on rights has not been balanced with an equal emphasis on responsibility. Many parents, having a desire for their children’s happiness, believe that doing things for their children is a natural way to help accomplish this goal.

It should be noted, however, that people grow by effort. This does not mean to imply that young people should not receive help or assistance, but it should serve as a reminder that responsibility takes effort. In a very real sense, responsibility cannot be given; it can only be taken.

In short, what we sow (effort and responsibility) so shall we reap. In promoting responsibility, consider the age-old maxim: Do not do those things for young people that they can do for themselves.