Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything


“Everything depends on the individual human being, regardless of how small a number of like-minded people there is… each person, through action and not mere words, creatively making the meaning of life a reality in his or her own being.”

Eleven months after he was liberated from the Nazi concentration camps, Viktor E. Frankl held a series of public lectures in Vienna. The psychiatrist, who would soon become world famous, explained his central thoughts on meaning, resilience, and the importance of embracing life even in the face of great adversity.

Published here for the very first time in English, Frankl’s words resonate as strongly today–as the world faces a coronavirus pandemic, social isolation, and great economic uncertainty–as they did in 1946. He offers an insightful exploration of the maxim “Live as if you were living for the second time,” and he unfolds his basic conviction that every crisis contains opportunity. Despite the unspeakable horrors of the camps, Frankl learned from the strength of his fellow inmates that it is always possible to “say yes to life”–a profound and timeless lesson for us all.

Yes to Life by Viktor E. Frankl