Personality Plus Club Meeting: The Meaning and Life Horizons of Youth

Again we met on December 4, at a meeting of the psychological club “Personality Plus”, the theme of which was “Human in search of meaning” (adolescence and youth period as the foundation of the life horizon of the individual).

Opening the club’s session, our alumni Anna Kazybekova and Taisia Babayeva noted that indeed, meaning is the most important life category, because it determines a person’s selective attitude to his or her destiny. And the more selective the person is, the more mature and established the person claims to be.

The most famous scientist in psychological science who has studied the concept of “meaning” is Viktor Emil Frankl.

The complex and tragic fate of the famous Austrian psychiatrist, psychologist and neurologist was inspired by the 4th year student Ruslan Salamov, who was not only shocked by the strength and height of the scientist’s spirit, but also by his own emotional state, since, as he himself admitted, his first public speech was held at the club meeting. Happy scientific debut to you, Ruslan!

The 92 years of the scientist’s life were filled with joy and sorrow, trials and pain, the delight of scientific discoveries. Ruslan guided us through significant stages of the scientist’s life and creative biography (from school years in the grammar school, the study of medicine at the University of Vienna, activities in the department for suicide prevention, deportations to concentration camps Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Türkheim, Dachau to the world-famous book “Say YES”. Psychologist in a concentration camp”, which describes the prisoner’s experience from the point of view of a psychiatrist).

Reflecting on the most famous book in the world “Man in Search of Sense”, Ruslan stressed that he was most touched by the following thoughts of the scientist: “Absence of Sense destroys the human in a man” and “Implementing sense in his life, a man carries out himself”.

“Human life is an endless search for meaning” – this is how Viktor Frankl’s fate was told by Alina Duleyeva, a graduate, whose scientific search is distinguished by freedom of thinking and deep ability to express his own “I”.

That’s why Alina is so close to Frankle’s statement: “The meaning is to set the pace of existence….  The unique meaning of today is the universal value of tomorrow”. Undoubtedly, it is impossible not to agree with a student and a scientist that “realizing the meaning of his life, a man thus realizes himself”.

But the loss of the meaning of life can cause existential frustration. People’s anxiety, even their despair, caused by the vain search for the meaning of life, determines their spiritual disaster. That is why today “a person should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather should realize that he himself is the one to whom the question is addressed”.

Taisia Babayeva, a 4th year student, tried to prove with her reflective analysis that it is the teenage and youth period aimed at self-determination and the search for the meaning of life that can serve as the foundation of the life horizon of a person.

The alumna was able, in her own way, to connect Frankl’s thought with the psychological features of the teenage period as a significant stage of ontogenesis in human life: “The meaning of life is unique at least three times. Once because it refers to the life of a unique human personality. The second time because he refers to a unique life situation. The third time – because a person acquires it every time his or her own way, only to him or her (this person).

Summarizing the results of the reflexive analysis of the problem under study, we can conclude that the meaning is a key aspect of the formation of the personality in youth, and the awareness of one’s own life meanings defines the horizon of the whole life path.

Information was prepared by O.V. Nikiforova, Candidate of Psychology, associate professor

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