Viktor Frankl – Overestimate

Victor Frankl compares human beings to flying a plane and talks about the importance of being idealists in order to become who we can be.


“Do you know what my flying instructor told me? If you are starting here, wish to get here, say east, heading for this, and you have a crosswind, you will drift and you will land here; so you have to do what the pilots call a crabbing, he told me, C-R-A-B, crabbing. You have to head for north of this airfield, and you have to fly that way. If you are headed in this direction. If you are heading here above this airfield, then you will actually land here, but if you head for here, you are landing here.

This holds also for Man, I would say. If we take Man as he really is, we make him worse, but if we over-estimated him, if we seem to be idealists and are over-estimating, over-rating man, and looking at him that high, here above, you know what happens? We promote him to what he really can be. So we have to be idealists in a way, because then we wind up as the true, the real, realists. You know who has said this, “If we take Man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take Man as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”