One book leads to another

About 200 pages, 222 to be exact, into The Art of Fielding I wanted to recommend it to all my friends. At page 446 I’m not so sure. The lives of all of the characters author Chad Harbach made me fall in love with are a mess, and I am not happy about it.
So much so that I am tempted to close the novel and never open it again. But you know I won’t.
I’m just saying Mr. Harbach has 66 pages to put everything right. And he’d better.
But at page 222 I was thoroughly delighted, stimulated, enlightened sand inspired.
On that page some of the players on the fictional Division III Westish College baseball team are working out and one, Schwartsie (God, I want things to work out for him) says this:
“Pain is like a gas. It expands to fill up whatever space you give it. So we shouldn’t fear pain. A lot of it doesn’t hurt much more, or take up more psychic space, than a little bit. Viktor Frankl.”
I stopped and pondered that for several minutes. And then Googled Viktor Frankl.
I knew who he was but never read anything written or said by him. What I found was all I needed to propel me into a brand new year.
One is similar to that above: “In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.”
Another: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude given a set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Several are along similar lines. Such as: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
I could go on and on, but you can look them up yourself. Or better still, as I intend to, read his Man’s Search for Meaning.
I will leave you with just one that I have decided is all the New Year’s resolution I need to make: “Live as if you were living already for the second time, and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now.”
That should keep me focused. And on the straight and narrow.

Ed Ackerman