“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
– Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Things are really starting to look up.
Check it out: I live with my beautiful wife in Malibu, California. We have two amazing daughters who are making their way in this world, and we are proud of them. We both work at Pepperdine University, where I have the honor of serving as Dean of Students at the School of Law. My job connects me to a phenomenal community of faculty, staff, and students who are already changing the world
There is another way to look at things I guess. Malibu is not cheap. I work too many hours. Law school is a stressful environment. Our daughters are no longer little girls. My parents are no longer alive. My hair is no longer with me, and my body seems to remind me on a daily basis that we aren’t on the upswing anymore.
But I fully believe in the wise counsel of Holocaust survivor and Jewish psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl, who taught us that nobody can steal our collective ability to choose an attitude in any set of circumstances. If you are skeptical, imagine trying his circumstances on for size.
The law students I serve have this dilemma in spades. They have the tremendous opportunity to study law in Malibu and pursue a most noble profession that offers power and influence. They also work like crazy with looming fears of failure, bar exams, debt, and difficult job prospects.
This blog is my attempt to help all of us, law students along with anyone else in the neighborhood, to work on the attitude choice in our given sets of circumstances.
“Emerson said that the happiest person on earth is the one who learns from nature the lessons of worship. So go outside a lot, and look up. My pastor says you can trap bees on the floor of a Mason jar without a lid, because they don’t look up. If they did, they could fly to freedom.”
– Anne Lamott
Things are really starting to look up, and so am I.
I love that you started with Anne Lamott, Al. Her words never fail to touch my soul. Here’s another perspective on looking up……”We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde
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Love the Wilde quote! Yes, started with Anne Lamott, and wouldn’t be surprised if I ended with her someday, too.