This past Saturday I spoke to more than 1,000 cancer survivors that included men, women and children. They were there to celebrate their lives and the courage it took to get through their collective experiences. I got the opportunity to chat with many of them after my presentation and I was in awe at the myriad of stories that showcased how resilient the human spirit can be. What powerful examples they are for me.

This past Saturday I spoke to more than 1,000 cancer survivors that included men, women and children. They were there to celebrate their lives and the courage it took to get through their collective experiences.


I got the opportunity to chat with many of them after my presentation and I was in awe at the myriad of stories that showcased how resilient the human spirit can be. What powerful examples they are for me.


Many of us feel that the littlest inconveniences are catastrophes, but these individuals have somehow reinterpreted what’s happened to them in order to discover more of a reason to live. Through internal fortitude, they developed the strength to just keep looking for meaning, even when things seemed hopeless.


It made me think that someone should really create a channel that showcases heroes and heroines to allow us to witness people who live through difficulty and become victorious as a result. I know this would lift our spirits on a daily basis.


Much of what we see today on television, particularly reality TV, is about individuals who have done nothing to make a difference other than to try to seduce the public into following them on Twitter, become their Facebook fan or buy their stuff.


I am frankly sick of the constant parade of idiotic people with little character becoming role models for the young. I often recommend that my audience read Dr. Viktor Frankls’ book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”


Dr. Frankl survived the Nazi concentration camps and developed a therapeutic model called logotherapy. Dr. Frankl asks us to answer this essential question, “Can we say yes to life in spite of everything?”


His query presupposes that life is meaningful under any conditions, even the most miserable. And, in turn, it acknowledges the human capacity to creatively turn life’s negative aspects into something positive or constructive.


Frankl goes on to offer us his triad for tragic optimism:


1. Turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment;


2. Deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better;


3. Deriving from life’s transitory nature an incentive to take responsible action.


It’s up to all of us to try to live our lives with more meaning, not only so that we can say yes to life, but also to honor those who are no longer with us.


Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360, send email to getalife@lorettalaroche.com, visit the website at www.stressed.com or call toll-free 800-998-2324.