Thanks to a recent comment left by Pablo, I was put onto the work of Viktor Frankl, who, according to Wikipedia:
was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy and Existential Analysis, the "Third Viennese School" of psychotherapy. His book Man's Search for Meaning (first published in 1946) chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. He was one of the key figures in existential therapy.
A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory."
What if you don't want to love? Or don't have anyone to love? What about those who reject love as just another of life's illusions? What about those who are bitter, and those who find happiness in other people's suffering? What about those who don't believe in honour?
If you're in a concentration camp, isn't it okay to be pissed off at the Nazi's for coming along and taking away your freedoms and very likely your existence too? Is it really 'best' to face such adversities with a smile, or is it okay to be depressed by the fact that life is [can be] a piece of shit, and then you die?
I'm intrigued by Frankl's story, and he looks worthy of further investigation. That being said, his conclusion 'all you need is love' is a familiar one, and I guess not far removed from, everything is pointless, be happy...Go Top