(April 8, 2008)

A blogging friend wrote recently about the search for meaning, quoting some things Viktor Frankl said in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl said the following: “Everyone has his (or her) own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated.”

That made me think of the statement so often quoted: “No one is indispensable.” This may be somewhat true in the big picture – in terms of the world – but not completely true at all. Each of us is indispensable as persons of value and worth to the people whose lives we touch and we are of great importance to God. No one can replace us because each of us is unique in who we are and in what we have to offer.

A friend of mine is away on an extended holiday. Her work her is suffering. People who love her and depend on her are suffering because of her absence. She has left a hole. She is irreplaceable. She is indispensable.

Robert Louis Stevenson says something neat on this topic: “So long as we love, we serve. So long as we are loved by others I would almost say we are indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.”