Finally got around to reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. In one part he talks about a hypothetical “Statue of Responsibility”:
Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.
Clever, I thought when I read it. But when I was researching Frankl after reading the book, I learned the Statue of Responsibility is (becoming) a real thing:
I like how it flips Liberty’s arm motif. There isn’t a permanent site for it yet, but I hope it comes together.
Some other quotes from the book I enjoyed:
- “For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.”
- “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.”
- “Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”
- Prisoners looking at sunset: “How beautiful the world could be.”
- “Self-actualization is possible only possible as a side effect of self-transcendence.”