|Anne Frank around age 12|
"One life sacrificed, one lesson learned." Anne Frank lived a life of constant fear, shut off from the outside world. Many individuals could learn a lot about appreciation and gratitude for the freedom to live their lives, for the most part, as they please. Many individuals today waste time and do not take advantage of opportunities that come their way.
Traveling to Amsterdam, Netherlands with my grandfather, I was introduced to the life of Anne Frank. Though I know most individuals do not have such an opportunity, it is one I will be forever grateful for. Getting to visually experience the atmosphere of the Annex in which Anne Frank and her family resided for two years prior to her death was life altering. I recalled previous events in my own life, in which I found myself ungrateful, and I felt disappointed in my behavior. I also visualized individuals today who are displeased with their own lives and who look at life in a negative way. As I observed the area which Anne Frank called home, I wondered what her thoughts were and how she managed to make it through for so long.
|A diary entry inside Anne's diary (people.smu.edu)|
Prior to leaving the exhibit of the Annex, I came across a book in which Anne Frank’s diary was published. I purchased it and began to experience what, I didn’t know till later, would inspire me to change my life. After reading her diary, I was introduced to a whole new insight on life in general. Here was a child who gave up everything: her school, her friends, and her freedom to go where she pleased. “How could people think life was hard now?” was the question I found myself baffled about. Anne Frank and her family lived during tough times; times of racism, times of poverty. Today's generation does not deal with issues even closely related to theirs. Anne Frank would have given anything for one more day to play outside and enjoy the warm sunshine. However, she was not fortunate enough to get this last opportunity, due to the fact that some coldhearted person let word slip of the arrangement in the Annex.
| The grave site of Anne and her mother |
As I read the section about the information of Anne’s whereabouts after leaving the Annex, I could not help but cry. Barely missing the opportunity for a new and better life, Anne died from illness two weeks short of her release from the concentration camp. This fact broke my heart; after all she gave up, after all that she went through, Anne never got to experience life to its fullest. As she expressed in her diary, she never looked at life in a negative way. She had such a positive outlook on life and what it had to offer. Though she and her family were placed in a tough situation, she was capable of making the most out of every opportunity that was available to her. Compared to many Jews who were no longer alive, she was blessed with the chance to live, maybe not in the most comfortable aspects, but still, none the less, with a life capable of living.
|The bookcase, the shield which protected Anne|
Anne Frank was not only a girl and she was not only a Jew, but a human being just like everyone else, and she deserved the same rights. For the most part, Anne and her family attempted to live the most “normal” life they could in the Annex. Regular day-to-day events continued. Although the tastiest foods were not available to them, Anne was grateful for any food. She continued her education in the Annex to broaden her knowledge because her family still carried hope for the days to come after this horrible roadblock that had come along and altered their lives. Sometimes individuals need to personally experience how it would feel to have all their rights and freedom taken away from them to make them realize how grateful they should be for everything they have.
The diary of Anne Frank transformed my perspective of the world around me. For the most part, I try to look at life in a positive way because I’m alive and healthy and, in the end, that is what matters. Money, accessories, and popularity may be nice perks to enjoy, but they are not necessary to live a happy life. The appreciation I have for my freedom shall never cease, and the ability to do as I please, in comparison to people in other parts of the world, makes me realize how easy it is for Americans to take freedom for granted. Unlike Anne Frank, I have never experienced constant fear because of my race or religion as I walk down a street. Anne Frank’s diary was like a pair of glasses giving me insight into the feelings that one endures when one is faced with the abhorrent events Jews experienced during that time. A child who was forced to mature rapidly, to attempt to understand how people could treat others abominably is definitely someone whom I call my hero.
Page created on 2/9/2009 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 2/9/2009 12:00:00 AM