Sunday, September 23, 2018

You Can't Take The Sky From Me

Everything can be taken frm a man but one thing;... to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances...
 - Viktor Frankl

Take my love, take my land,
Take me where I cannot stand,
I don't care, I'm still free...
 - The Ballad of Serenity by Joss Whedon

It's amazing the connections you find when you start looking for them.

That's not to say I'm not always looking for common themes between disparate sources, but the more I learn, the more I study, the more connections I open my eyes to. The connections were always there, I just didn't see them before.

For example:

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

Those of you who are my age probably recognize that as a song lyric. Those of you with better memory than I for musicians and song titles might recognize it's one of the final lines from "Closing Time" by Semisonic.

Except they didn't come up with the line. That credit goes to Seneca the Younger, a known Roman Stoic.

There's that philosophy again.

While I haven't been able to find conclusive evidence of Viktor Frankl self-identifying as a Stoic, there are essays to be found that suggest a surplus of Stoic influences exist in his work.

I can't speak for Joss either, but his Ballad of Serenity definitely reflects at least one Stoic ideal, that being outside circumstances not affecting internal attitudes. The next stanza continues,

Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't coming back,
Burn the land and boil the sea,
You can't take the sky from me.

I still have more study to perform.