Search for meaning in suffering (quotes)

  • In acute suffering the need for meaning is as strong or stronger than the need for happiness. Peter L. Berger
  • Despair is suffering without meaning. Viktor E. Frankl
  • Everyone faces the challenge of finding meaning to their suffering. Phil McGraw
  • If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. Viktor E. Frankl
  • The way of surviving is to find meaning in suffering. Laurel Lea
  • To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Love is our only weapon. Only love can turn mere life into a miracle, and draw precious meaning from suffering and fear. Nando Parrado
  • Just because we don’t see a reason for evil and suffering doesn’t mean there’s not a reason for it. Timothy Keller
  • Love is our only weapon. Only love can turn mere life into a miracle, and draw precious meaning from suffering and fear. Nando Parrado
  • It is here that we encounter the central theme of existentialism: to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering. Viktor E. Frankl
  • People are not prepared or able to rejoice in suffering unless they experience a massive biblical revolution of how they think and feel about the meaning of life. John Piper
  • The Gospel gives human suffering deep, personal, and cosmic meaning, by connecting our pain to the pain of others and, finally, by connecting us to the very “pain of God”. Richard Rohr
  • This is the core of the human spirit … If we can find something to live for – if we can find some meaning to put at the center of our lives – even the worst kind of suffering becomes bearable. Viktor E. Frankl
  • Man is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering as soon and as long as he can see a meaning in it. Viktor E. Frankl
  • Without reason, why bother? Existence needs purpose: to be able to endure the pain of life with dignity; to give us a reason to continue. The meaning must enter our hearts, not our heads. We must understand the meaning of our suffering. Sarah Winman
  • The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity — even under the most difficult circumstances — to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal Viktor E. Frankl
  • Life ceases to be so oppressive: we are free to give our own lives meaning and purpose, free to redeem our suffering by making something of it. Walter Kaufmann
  • Once an individual’s search for meaning is successful, it not only renders him happy but also gives him the capability to cope with suffering. Viktor E. Frankl
  • We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. Winston Churchill
  • There is not much sense in suffering, since drugs can be given for pain, itching, and other discomforts. The belief has long died that suffering here on earth will be rewarded in heaven. Suffering has lost its meaning. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice. Viktor E. Frankl
  • How you approach the problem of suffering depends on how you approach life itself. There are only two ways. Either meaning is surrounded by matter, or matter is surrounded by meaning. Peter Kreeft
  • Neurosis is the suffering of a soul which has not discovered its meaning. Carl Jung
  • Through every trial we grow. All suffering we experience has a meaning. Though it seems very cruel, it is like the fire that smelts the iron ore: the steel that emerges from that furnace is beautifully strong, useful for many purposes. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meaning to our suffering. We need as much something to suffer for as something to live for. Eric Hoffer
  • We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: 1. by doing a deed; 2. by experiencing a value; and 3. by suffering. Viktor E. Frankl
  • Fine words lack all meaning when we are confronted by real suffering. Paulo Coelho
  • It’s nice to be happy. But the meaning of life is meaning – what’s the impact you’re having on the world. Suffering to accomplish that is a perfectly fine thing. Reid Hoffman
  • It does not follow that the meaning must be given from above; that life and suffering must come neatly labeled; that nothing is worth while if the world is not governed by a purpose. Walter Kaufmann
  • The subject of pain is the business I am in – to give meaning and shape to frustration and suffering. The existence of pain cannot be denied. I propose no remedies or excuses. Louise Bourgeois
  • We are full of words whose true meaning we haven’t been taught, and one of those words is suffering. Another is the word death. We don’t know what they mean, but we use them, and this is a mystery. Alessandro Baricco
  • I adore themes of hope and courage and the ways we find meaning through suffering. Ruta Sepetys
  • Suffering is part and parcel of the human condition, but suffering can either embitter or ennoble us. It can ennoble us and become a spirituality of transformation when we find meaning in it. Desmond Tutu
  • Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind. Aristotle
  • I looked more widely around me, I studied the lives of the masses of humanity, and I saw that, not two or three, or ten, but hundreds, thousands, millions, had so understood the meaning of life that they were able both to live and to die. All these people were well acquainted with the meaning of life and death, quietly labored, endured privation and suffering, lived and died, and saw in all this, not a vain, but a good thing. Leo Tolstoy
  • Why is Form beautiful? Because, I think, it helps us confront our worst fear: the suspicion that life may be chaos and that therefore our suffering is without meaning. Robert Adams
  • Out of the cacophony of random suffering and chaos that can mark human life, the life artist sees or creates a symphony of meaning and order. A life of wholeness does not depend on what we experience. Wholeness depends on how we experience our lives. Desmond Tutu
  • If there is a purpose in life at all, there must be a purpose in suffering and in dying. But no man can tell another what this purpose is. Each must find out for himself, and must accept the responsibility that his answer prescribes. If he succeeds he will continue to grow in spite of all indignities. Gordon Allport
  • Our narrating self would much prefer to continue suffering in the future, just so it won’t have to admit that our past suffering was devoid of all meaning. Yuval Noah Harari
    It is much easier to live with the fantasy, because the fantasy gives meaning to the suffering. Yuval Noah Harari