Meaning moments or meaning every moment

People generally understand meaning moments. There are peak moments, miraculous moments, and life-changing moments. Listening to the radio this past Holocaust Memorial Day I heard one man by the name of Shlomo describe how his parents sent him away from the ghetto at the age of 14 hoping to save his life. His father’s parting words were: “Don’t ever forget who you are.” His mother told him “Make sure to live!” One fateful day he was forced to decide which voice to listen to – his father or his mother. When asked, “Are you Jewish?” he replied: “No, I’m not Jewish.” This temporary change in identity was a meaning moment that saved his life.

What is more difficult to grasp is that there is meaning in every single moment.  Viktor Frankl posits that no moment is devoid of meaning. People get nervous about this. Their reaction is often: “But isn’t that exhausting?” They mistakenly suppose this to mean we have to constantly monitor ourselves. Instead, to experience meaning in every moment is to live with the orientation and consciousness that every moment is deliciously rich with value and we only need to discover and respond to it. There is no “dead time.” This is a celebration of life!

To give a “trivial” example: I love my purse. It has just the right number and kinds of compartments that serves my needs perfectly. Passing by a store one day where I had bought it I saw an opportunity to express my gratitude. The opportunity to do something or take a stand that upholds values makes every moment meaningful. Even if we experience pain or have to do something difficult, it’s a moment worth living. And that means our whole life is worthwhile! (Submitted by Batya)

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7 Responses to Meaning moments or meaning every moment

  1. Sharon Katz says:

    Good luck on your blog, Batya. Logotherapy can surely help people find the meaning of life, if they apply its lessons. – Sharon

  2. Bayla says:

    I love your blog Batya! FYI… I also love my purse for the same reasons. Hmmmm……….coinidence???
    Bayla Zinger

  3. ccrw1956 says:

    I was very pleased to see this new blog, Batya, although I do sometimes fear that I don’t always understand everything I hear about logotherapy. In spite of this, I will go out on a limb and post a comment here.
    In light of what you wrote about “this being exhausting”, I wonder: if I believe that there is indeed meaning in every moment, do I necessarily have to find it, see it, or examine it? or can I have that belief but only “use it” when I have the time or inclination? In other words, some times one will notice the meaning and other times not.

    • logogroup says:

      You’ve picked up on one of the timeless truths of logotherapy: To find yourself you have to lose yourself. Experience bears this out. The self-conscious musician won’t succeed. We have to be in the here-and-now. One of the blessings I’m finding as a new grandparent is seeing the way my grandson plays with such abandon, without thinking about himself doing it. I can imagine a “forget myself” barometer, where the more I forget myself the more engaged I will be in whatever I’m doing. The time for finding meaning is the time of choice beforehand or the time of reflection afterward but at that moment while you’re engaged in doing something meaningful you don’t have to think about how meaningful it is on a conscious level.

  4. Heather Gelb says:

    Hi, Batya, I love this quote of yours: …”to experience meaning in every moment is to live with the orientation and consciousness that every moment is deliciously rich with value and we only need to discover and respond to it.” Thank you for doing your part in filling the internet with meaningful and inspirational material to read. –Heather

  5. ingrid bremer says:

    thank you for a great blog. I will be following it closely!

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