Frankl or Paltrow?

Viktor Frankl was an Auschwitz survivor and brilliant writer (Man’s Search for Meaning). He endured incredible hardship during his life and he made that the centerpiece of his philosophy of life. The meaning of life is in how we endure suffering.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a movie actress and celebrity. She is going through a divorce and writing about the hardship. As far as I can tell, there is none. She assures her fans that she will move through the experience at a higher level.

Why juxtapose these two persons? Because both assert that there is a way to get beyond the constraints of experience. Frankl by embracing the worst and Paltrow by aggressively ignoring it in favor of the perfected self. Both offer paths to get unstuck and we might see their attitudes — as opposite as they are — as tools. Nothing more.

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