2020-02-20
Public Domain

By writing in her diary, Anne Frank provided a small snapshot into the tragic reality of the Holocaust where 6 million Jews were killed. Frank's candid entries allow outsiders to personify the names by envisioning the faces, lives and personalities lost. Despite the horrific circumstances, Frank's words exemplify optimism, patience, selflessness, and strength.

Anne and her family were in hiding for 25 months. On August 4, 1944, Anne and seven others hiding in the Secret Annex were discovered by the Gestapo- which was the German secret state police. An anonymous tipster, who has never been definitively identified, alerted the police about the Frank family.

During the 25 months, Frank wrote about the horrors of the hiding during the war and the everyday problems of being a teenager. Those precious entries speak truth to finding peace, hope and joy even in the toughest and darkest of times.

If you need a reminder that there is a silver lining behind every dark cloud, read, remember, and recite Anne's inspirational words.

"I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."

Everyone has encountered rude and selfish behavior. The reality is when assessing the majority of our population, the kindest people are guilty of less than humane behavior. No one can honestly say they've treated every human being, they've encountered, with the utmost respect. It's just not possible. Every person endures difficult seasons or bad days. We're all human beings. Do not deem this justification as a legitimate excuse because it's not- it's just the reality of life. However, it's important to forgive others for their sins and move on. Anne's words remind us that life is much more enjoyable and joyful is we choose to see the good in people versus the negative. Instead of wallowing within sorrow, channel your happy times and allow them to serve as a reminder of better times- that will eventually occur again.

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

Personally, I think this quote has dual representation of our world. For Anne, her diary was a priceless contribution for history. Not only do we get an honest heartfelt account of the Holocaust, we are blessed to read about the Frank family's bravery. Despite the cruel circumstances they experienced, the family still held hope and demonstrated kindness to others.

On the other hand, Anne reminds mankind about freedom. As Americans we have the privilege of living within a time and society that has rights. The world is truly our oyster. Americans can make the world a better place without a permission slip. While this may seem overwhelming, society can improve the world by completing simple acts.

Here are a few simple ways: hold the door for a stranger, say hello to your neighbor, pick up trash at the park or in your neighborhood, pay for a stranger's coffee, offer to mow your elderly neighbor's yard, or send a reminder to a loved one that they are special to you.

"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy."

Everyone lives through difficult seasons hard times are part of life. Even though it feels like you're on an island alone, you're not! Exercising gratitude is a proven method to achieve healing. When the going gets tough, remember the beauty in your life and choose happiness. Channeling the goodness will guide you through the most unbearable times. And sharing this reminder, with others, has the power of changing the world.

"We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same."

Everyone has the same objective in life- to be happy. Ultimately, every individual goes through the motions of life in hopes of finding happiness and purpose. There's no other explanation. Why else would people do what they do every day? Anne recognized this commonality. What's interesting is the selfishness behind the mutual desire for happiness. Instead of trying to find a reasonable and rational compromise, in many cases, the world would rather wage war; thus, lives are not valued and lost.

This insightful line reminds us to encourage our own heart to identify compromise and seek mutual happiness- which will also allow us to live in peace.

"Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction."

Rest is bliss; however, being productive makes rest a blissful state of mind. When humans are productive the brain sends endorphins throughout the body, which creates a state of satisfaction and happiness. When we allow ourselves to be lazy, we become complacent to the world existing around us. Even though this avenue may seem less stressful, it isn't because it places a damper on our existence as an individual. Nothing can replace the feeling of making yourself satisfied by your own creation.

"Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands."

Have you ever heard the phrase, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink?" Anne's quote is along the same lines. Parents can only guide their child by teaching morals and ethics. Overall, parents believe they have way more influence than they actually have. It's up to the child to form their own opinions and reactions with the resources they're given. And, in many cases, they must learn by making their own mistakes.

Happiness remains the underlying theme within Anne Frank's diary. Instead of allowing the evilness of others to mold her identify, she created her identity with her own hands. She penned the words that needed to be shared and used her words to reinforce the character she wanted to become. Frank said, "Whoever is happy will make others happy too." Despite the horrific reality, she lived, Anne choose happiness and recognized her quality of life was so much better by doing so.

It's important to remember that society shares feelings and seasons- even if it's not simultaneous. All human beings experience good days, bad days, good seasons, and bad seasons. We all want happiness, but it would be so much easier to get through the thick of things if we stood together through it all and recognized our similarities versus our differences.


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