A book that certainly has influenced me as prfoundly as any other is Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl who survived his incarceration in one of the Nazi concentration camps. Here's a brief passage:
One day, a few days after the liberation, I walked through the country past flowering meadows, for miles and miles, toward the market town near the camp. Larks rose to the sky and I could hear their joyous song. There was no one to be seen for miles around; there was nothing but the wide earth and sky and the larks' jubilation and the freedom of space.
I stopped, looked around, and up to the sky--and then I went down on my knees. At that moment there was very little I knew of myself or of the world--I had but one sentence in mind--always the same: "I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space."
How long I knelt there and repeated this sentence memory can no longer recall. But I know that on that day, in that hour, my new life started. Step for step I progressed, until I again became a human being.
Perhaps it would be valuable for all of us to ask just what it would take - step by step - to become a human being. There are, after all, so many dehumanizing experiences that take place in almost everyone's life.