Reflection from July 5th, 2004 @ Age 23
RE: WHEN, AT THE AGE OF 36, YOU EXPLAIN TO YOUR 10-YEAR-OLD GODSON—THAT “HARRY POTTER & THE SORCERER’S STONE” IS ACTUALLY, ENTITLED **HARRY POTTER & THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE** IN ENGLAND, A.K.A. THE PLACE FROM WHENCE IT CAME—AND, THAT YOU YOURSELF, MINORED IN PHILOSOPHY IN COLLEGE ;oD
Wow, I can’t believe it’s so early! I worked ten and ¾ hours today, printed off “application to become a candidate to take the bar exam,” and it’s about 100 pages to read through—and then, like, 23 pages to “do.”
Ahh, when will I have sweet love-in-love again? I can’t believe I’m gonna be an attorney!
Guess what! I ate under 1200 calories today and I worked out ;0)
It felt great! I never want to stop it daily, now. And, I’m still high! But, not all day and I got a lot done and my stomach doesn’t hurt! I’m a happy camper!
I love to write! I hope to write a book one day. I dunno, maybe, about me—maybe about being the first president of the United States who is a wo-man! Ahh, and for the democrats of course!
You know, the strangest thing happened to me today! I was outside at work having a cigarette and I was kinda pissed because this girl, about my age, got to the bench before me—so, I was standing around, you know, prolly lookin’ all not pleased to have to be standing around, and this girl speaks to me…
So, you have to work today, too, huh? And, there it began and we began to talk, and turns out she went to Bowling Green with Ryan Mower—who graduated from Hoover in ’99 and dressed in tie dye with Dave senior year at prom, when I wouldn’t go with him because he waited too long to ask me! Hah!
It’s been almost five years since I’ve seen that boy, and not too much time shorter since I’ve spoken to him. So, imagine my surprise at work, having a cigarette on a gorgeous day on the bench with a nice girl—giving me the latest scoop on Dave…
Dave in Spain, now…
Ohh, Dave’s so smart—Tracey said…
I could’a puked. But, I did tremble when Dave’s name came up. Hmm…
Hah, and mom said tonight—that boy just won’t stay away, will he?
Hah—it must be fate, destiny and chance…
We were grateful for the smallest of mercies. We were glad when there was time to delouse before going to bed, although in itself this was no pleasure, as it meant standing naked in an unheated hut where icicles hung from the ceiling. But we were thankful if there was no air raid alarm during this operation and the lights were not switched off. If we could not do the job properly, we were kept awake half the night.
The meager pleasures of camp life provided a kind of negative happiness—“freedom from suffering” as Schopenhauer put it—and even that in a relative way only. Real positive pleasures, even small ones, were very few. I remember drawing up a kind of balance sheet of pleasures one day and finding that in many, many past weeks I had experienced only two pleasurable moments. One occurred when, on returning from work, I was admitted to the cook house after a long wait and was assigned to the line filing up to prisoner-cook F—. He stood behind one of the huge pans and ladled soup into the bowls which were held out to him by the prisoners, who hurriedly filed past. He was the only cook who did not look at the men whose bowls he was filling; the only cook who dealt out the soup equally, regardless of recipient, and who did not make favorites of his personal friends or countrymen, picking out the potatoes for them, while the others got watery soup skimmed from the top.
But it is not for me to pass judgment on those prisoners who put their own people above everyone else. Who can throw a stone at a man who favors his friends under circumstances when, sooner or later, it is a question of life or death? No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might to have done the same.
VIKTOR E. FRANKL
Psychiatrist & Nazi Concentration Camp Survivor
Part I—Experiences in a Concentration Camp.