“Be the change you wish to see in the world” is actually a quote from Gandhi, but it’s a sentiment that I think Anne would have agreed with. Perhaps she didn’t know it at the time but the words she was writing in her diary were destined to improve the world. She was living the principles she was writing about and was providing an example for generations to come of how to grow up, how to think for yourself and how to become the person you wish to be. She was constantly evaluating herself, constantly being honest about her faults and constantly striving to do better.
Though the changes that the average person makes to themselves and their circle of influence may not become as well known and influential as Anne’s has, every little change adds up and slowly but surely things change for the better. Anne herself had no idea the impact her words would have, she was simply trying to be the best she could under mundane, tense circumstances.
I would build upon Anne’s words and say that every moment is a new chance to change the world and that is why you don’t need to wait but also you shouldn’t wait! There are no words to describe the sense of personal power and pride that comes from real and honest effort to better yourself.
Bettering yourself is the first and best way to better the world! It is impossible to spread joy or kindness to others if you don’t feel that way yourself. So take care of yourself and then spread that to all the people in your sphere from loved ones, to co-workers to strangers and you will be amazed at the changes you can make in the world!
I have read the Diary of Anne Frank several times throughout my life and each time something new jumps out at me as being so wise. I remember the first time I read it was in school, while I was right around the same age she was.
The wisdom that stayed with me from this first reading, was the part where she talks about the difference in perspective between her and her mother. Her mother believed that you should be aware of how bad it could be and is not and be happy that you are being spared for the moment. While Anne herself thought you should look at how beautiful the world is and be happy that things are so good.
I remember thinking at the time that they were both right and you should do both things. Be grateful that your world is so beautiful and be aware that it could be much worse.
It made me sad at the time, that Anne had such a difficult relationship with her mother, when both of them had very valid viewpoints. I wished so much that they could have seen the wisdom in the other and in that way have grown closer.
I will say that seeing the issues that drove these two women apart, helped me in my own life to avoid the anger and hurt that many teens feel toward their parents and my mother and I formed a relationship during my teen years that provided a wonderful foundation for the extremely close bond we still share.
This post is the first in a series that I am going to do on all the many insights and wisdoms to be found in Anne Franks Diary. She was a gift to the world during an extremely dark time and I can’t help but think that she would have been proud that she achieved her fondest desire; to go on living in the world’s memory long after her death.