Dear Exchange Community,
Last week we sent out a survey to Exchange readers, asking how we can best provide support during this trying time. We asked what topics would be most helpful for upcoming magazine articles and for the video clips we offer through Ed Flicks. I was touched to see that the topic that got the most votes was joy. JOY! Isn’t that something we all need right now? Somedays it feels hard to come by, doesn’t it?
In my own quest to find ways to keep my spirits up, I came across some writing from Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and author of the iconic book, Man’s Search for Meaning. It’s good once in a while to remind ourselves that generations before us faced challenges and overcame them, just as we will…just as we are right now. Just eleven months after Frankl was liberated from the concentration camps, he gave a series of lectures. I’d like to share an excerpt from them that I found helpful. I hope it also gives you some food-for-thought about ways to find joy:
“It is not only through our actions that we can give life meaning...we can fulfill the demands of existence not only as active agents but also as loving human beings: in our loving dedication to the beautiful, the great, the good. Should I perhaps try to explain for you with some hackneyed phrase how and why experiencing beauty can make life meaningful? I prefer to confine myself to the following thought experiment: imagine that you are sitting in a concert hall and listening to your favorite symphony, and your favorite bars of the symphony resound in your ears, and you are so moved by the music that it sends shivers down your spine; and now imagine that it would be possible…for someone to ask you in this moment whether your life has meaning. I believe you would agree with me if I declared that in this case you would only be able to give one answer, and it would go something like: ‘It would have been worth it to have lived for this moment.’
Those who experience, not the arts, but nature, may have a similar response, and also those who experience another human being. Do we not know the feeling that overtakes us when we are in the presence of a particular person and, roughly translates as, The fact that this person exists in the world at all, this alone makes this world, and a life in it, meaningful.”
One thing I know is that everyone in the early childhood profession is doing meaningful work. Through your courage, you are continually demonstrating to children that life can still be good even when everything around feels difficult. Thank you for that gift.
Nancy Rosenow, Exchange Publisher
Have you had a chance to take our survey about what would most meet your needs right now? We’d really like to know how we at Exchange can best support you. Please take a moment to fill out this survey. Thank you so much.
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