Two Victors: Hugo, Frankl

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In Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, the main character Jean Valjean returns a Bishop's kindness by stealing the silverware. After he was arrested, it was Bishop Myriel's radical act of mercy and challenging words to Jean that began Valjean's turnaround. It was a person-to-person experience that breathed a purpose into Valjean. Likewise, Victor Frankl, after spending 18 months in a Nazi concentration camp, said that prisoners who held on to a voice telling them to "keep going" had the best survival rate. It was a person-to-person or God-to-person connection (even if that person was not close by) that sustained having purpose in the worst conditions.

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