Don’t Waste a Moment!

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Today, January 27, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day we pause to remember the victims from one of the darkest tragedies in the history of our world. Approximately six million Jewish people were violently executed under the Nazi regime during World War II. As a young girl, I remember reading, The Diary of Anne Frank, multiple times. In her diary, Anne Frank recounts the daily events, struggles, and conversations that she, her family, and the others had while in hiding. As I read the book and tried to put myself in her place, I simply couldn’t. As a young girl, myself, my mind would not allow me to go that place of fear and devastation – the horror was overwhelming.

It would be two years after her death when her infamous diary would be published. We would then learn the daily recounts of her life while going into hiding and the time until her death in 1945. This young girl of thirteen, facing very adult fears and a fate no one should be forced to endure, left behind some beautiful insights into kindness, courage, and character. While I am far from qualified to speak at great lengths on the history of the Holocaust, the political influences of the time, or to the atrocities faced by the victims and the survivors, I will note the messages in the writings of this young girl. Anne Frank faced horrors of what most of us could never imagine. It is not my intention in any way to minimize or overlook the importance of this international day of remembrance. That is a time in our history that we must educate ourselves on, stay focused, and work vigilantly to ensure never happens again. Today, though, I chose to highlight an inspirational quote left behind in Miss Frank’s diary that is a challenge to each of us. If she were with us today, I know she would exude wisdom and share courageously of those most adverse times. She would certainly be an activist advocating for human rights and justice for all – and we would listen with awe and reverence. I would hope that she would find us being kinder and loving our neighbors and fellow man a little better. I hope she would not be disheartened with the ways she witnessed us treat each other. Instead, my hope is that Anne Frank would be delighted to find us putting into action the words she wrote in her diary on March 26, 1944:

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

-Anne Frank

I just love this! Often, we feel we have to wait until the “right time” to begin making our mark “for good” in this world. It’s as if we need permission to get started making a difference in the lives of those around us. We don’t. We don’t have to wait to earn the degree, win the money, buy the house, get the promotion – it can start now, today. We can start with small steps – a kind word, a quick deed, a hug, or simply a smile that says, “Hey, I see you.” If you are able to do more, by all means, please do! If not, start where you are – on your street, in your office, in your class at school. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it just has to be sincere.
Anne Frank left this world much too soon, and unnecessarily. Thankfully, her words, the history, and the accounts of her courage remain. How truly sad it would be if her insights and wisdom were written in vain. If she were alive today, would she still feel the same as she did in that tiny room hidden away?

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

-Anne Frank

Personally, I’m going to accept her challenge. Long after my time here has passed, I hope I will be remembered for bringing light, for being kind, and for making a difference “for good”. I want her words to ring true in my life. It is my hope that you will be encouraged to do the same. Let us not waste a moment in being good at heart!



Published by Elizabeth Sharpe

My name is Elizabeth Sharpe, but to most, I'm just "Beth". I am a wife, mom, educator, and lover of all things good and kind. I love to share my stories and reflections to connect with others. It is my hope to encourage and inspire readers in some small way as we journey life together.

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