It’s difficult for me to imagine living in fear everyday the way Anne Frank did, and still find a way to be happy and display kindness and joy the way she did. Anne was a Jewish girl born in Germany who wrote a diary while in hiding with her family and four friends in Amsterdam during the German occupation of the Netherlands. After living for 2 years in hiding, she and her group were betrayed and the Germans removed them to concentration camps where Anne Frank died 7 months later. Her father Otto was the only one to survive and was instrumental in having Anne Frank’s diary published. It is from those pages that much inspiration came for the writing of books, plays, speeches and finally several movies depicting her life and the lives of those she shared during those days of seclusion.
Her simple words, “Look at all the beauty still around you and be happy” is advice we could all use, despite our predicaments. I was drawn to the words “still left around you” in this quote because I understood her predicament. Her whole peaceful calm world eroded around her till there was nearly unbearable circumstances left. I grew up under such circumstances, though it was camouflaged as merely a dysfunctional family or home. Yet, in her innocent mind and heart she found place to be kind to those other 6 people with whom she shared her terrible circumstances while in hiding.
After contemplating Anne Frank’s situation and her quote, I began to think about my life now and my own every day predicaments and I questioned whether I was being kind enough to others around me. I have been out of work since 2005 due to a disease that has turned my world upside down and I have since become resentful and unkind. Here is where self-empowerment’s price is felt. Discovering and admitting my weaknesses is a painful process for me. But they say that knowing your faults is half the battle.
There is another quote that goes, “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” I believe it is anonymous but pay no attention to that for the moment. “Be kinder than necessary” are the words that jump out at me there. You see in this battle that exists inside ourselves to grow, to mature, we often doll out kindness, and love, in measures that we deem as fair, as if there were a shortage of these behaviors or a given amount we need worry about less we run out. No- kindness is always in plentiful supply for us to use if we just want to. Now if I were to follow the anonymous quote’s advice I would give more than is necessary. Why? Because we never know what a person has gone through that day. I could be they were having an Anne Frank day. It is observed by the writer that everyone is facing some kind of battle today.
I feel the need to apply to myself the admonition given today. I think I can find more place for kindness than I have. I think if Anne Frank can do it, so can I. Today I feel empowered because I know what I need to do. I will look at the beauty still around me and I will display kindness to all I meet, but especially to those who are close to me. I shall refresh someone like it were a spring day even though it is the winter of my life.
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