Published on June 17th, 2020 | by drkkr


What can stop a suicide ?

Viktor Frankl, one of the 20th century’s great psychiatrists, known for having survived the death camps of Nazi Germany, wrote a little book, Man’s Search for Meaning, now known as the one of the ‘must-read’ books of life.

Frankl once told of a woman who called him in the middle of the night to calmly inform him she was about to commit suicide. Frankl kept her on the phone, and talked her through her depression, tirelessly giving her reason after reason to carry on living. Finally she promised she would not take her life, and she kept her word.

When they later met, Frankl asked which reason had persuaded her to live?

“None of them”, she replied.

What then influenced her to go on living, he pressed?

Her answer was simple: Frankl heard her out. His willingness to listen with patience in the middle of the night had done it. A world in which there was someone ready to listen to another’s pain seemed to her a world in which it was worthwhile to live.

Many a time, the simply listening is the greatest gift we can give. It can make all the difference. Brilliant arguments are not needed.

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