“I Was Born To Die”

Edward Korbal, co-president of the RSHI Board, shares his thoughts on the four questions posed by Dr. Hartman in Chapter 1 of Freedom to Live. These provocative questions are a launch point for generating intrinsic, extrinsic, and systemic value in the world. 


“I Was Born To Die”

Robert S. Hartman (Chapter 1 Title in the Freedom to Live: The Robert S. Hartman Story; Hartman, 2013, p. 7)

The paradox in our lives is everywhere—the ultimate existential paradox is the freedom to live with the end in mind.  In our quest to embrace the freedom to live, I believe there is an opportunity to find purpose and clarity by intentionally and consciously embracing our mortality.  Lives full of meaning and fulfillment will emerge more fully in pursuit of our freedom to live – our freedom to be – intrinsically good.

Hartman presented four questions for reflection in Freedom to Live as it relates to meaning in life and in work:

  1. What am I here for in the world?
  2. Why do I work for this organization?
  3. What can this organization do to help me fulfill my meaning in the world?
  4. How can I help this organization fulfill my meaning in the world?

You do not need to know the theory and science behind formal axiology to explore these questions.  In pursuing these questions, how might this make a difference in your personal and professional life? Hartman and others like Viktor Frankl – under the devastation of WWII – produced timeless wisdom in their contributions to help each one of us live more intrinsically good lives. Hartman’s work will live on through the Institute, and by exploring the above four questions, each of us will find our own freedom to live intrinsically good lives.

This blog post expresses my desire to continue exploring and reflecting on these questions in preparation for The 47th Annual RSHI Conference Freedom to Live in October to honor the 50th anniversary of his death and to ensure that his life’s work is sustained and continues to generate intrinsic, extrinsic, and systemic value in the world.  This is what I am here for in this world.  This is why I work for this Institute.  This Institute has created an opportunity to fulfill my meaning in the world.  And I am contributing my knowledge, skills, and abilities to this organization to fulfill my meaning in the world. 

What are you here for in this world?

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Comments on "“I Was Born To Die”"

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Clifford Hurst - Thursday, September 21, 2023

Eddie, This is a powerful reflection. it made me pause in a busy day. Thank you for it. I look forward to being at this year's annual conference to dig deeper into ideas like this one you posed above. Gratefully, Cliff

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