Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to chose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
There's a scene in Arthur Miller's play Incident at Vichy in which an upper-middle-class professional man appears before the Nazi authority that has occupied his town and shows his credentials: his university degrees, his letters of reference from prominent citizens, and so on. The Nazi asks him, "Is that everything you have?" The man nods yes. The Nazi then throws it all in the wastebasket and tells him, "Good, now you have nothing." The man, whose self-esteem had always depended on the respect of others, is emotionally destroyed. We are never left with nothing as long as we retain the freedom to choose how we will respond.
Successful businessmen who, upon retirement, lost all zest for life. Their work had given their lives meaning, Often it was the only thing that gave their lives meaning, and without it, they spent day after day sitting home depressed, "with nothing to do." An there are another kind of people who rose to the challenge of enduring the most terrible of afflictions and situations as they believed there was a point to their suffering. Whether it was a family milestone they wanted to live long enough to share or the prospect of doctors finding a cure by studying their affliction, having a Why to live for enabled them to bear the How.