Find Your “Why”

He who has a why to live, can bear with almost any how. — F. Nietzsche

Twenty-eight years ago, I was attending high school at a small Catholic school in a small town in Pennsylvania and we had daily religion class. Religion class was something I’d always dreaded from the time I started attending Catholic school in the fourth grade up until 1988, when religion class suddenly wasn’t about “religion.”

In the final two years of high school, the religion class curricula focused on real issues rather than ancient biblical text and stories of some rabble-rouser preacher who claimed to be the son of God. In 11th grade the main topic was that of finding meaning in life as related by two Holocaust survivors. In 12th grade, the topics were to social justice and a study of marriage and vocations.

The text for our 11th grade religion class consisted of Night by Elle Wiesel and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Both books detail the experiences of young Jewish men who were taken captive by the Nazi’s and who survived the concentration camps. Night was short and we read it first. To be honest, I don’t recall much of the book because it was over-shadowed by our study of Frankl’s book, which we studied from approximately October to May of the year. Continue reading