Anne Frank – “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”, said Albert Camus. It doesn’t take much perspective or penetration to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and glory of Autumn, which is literally the fall; the season that is marked by shorter days and shedding leaves.
However, to understand and live whole-heartedly, a life that is marked by persecution and hiding, it takes the conviction and tenacity of Anne Frank.
While the life and diary of the young girl, is in its entirety, an irreplaceable reminder about how to live with unrestrained bliss; here are thirteen of her best commandments to keep at bay, any source of scepticism, fear, regret, and just about any form of negativity.
Anne Frank –
1. Muster up courage and faith –
The first principle of happiness is of of course, the unshakable faith in the possibility of happiness in any given situation.
2. Laugh at everything and forget everyone else –
But to go beyond the abstract and actually practise faith and courage in real life, it takes one, the ability to laugh at everything, even oneself; and to never mind anyone except oneself.
3. Argue with people to get to know them –
But for those times, when you do have to work things with someone, she doesn’t want you to be compliant either. In fact, by forgetting everyone else when you don’t have to remember them, you gain the courage and capacity to own up to your own beliefs. So, exercise debate in its holistic significance.
4. Help only the needy –
Despite this list having 13 rules, ranging from everyday things to the deepest revelations, this is probably the one rule, which if religiously practised can be the escapade from most of your regret. Help the needy by all means, but never help the lazy, scary, pushy, manipulative,… Need I go on? Basically, say ‘no’ if it is not a necessity.
5. Prevent girls from being girls –
Not a single female writer goes without giving us, her take on feminism and Anne Frank, despite the fact that she only wrote for herself, managed not being an exception. And she gives the best advice at that. Look!
6. Watch yourself –
If only we could all be as self-effacing and self-improving as the thirteen-year old could be, we wouldn’t need as many self-help books. But again, we do not need as many self-help books. That is, given that we have her. In fact, she is so reflective, you could simply look into her to get a good look at yourself.
7. Write –
Given that she was only thirteen and locked up, how did she become so wise? As you read through the book, you see her transform into a better person every passing day. After all, writing is therapy. Be it a thoroughly devised bullet journal or just a piece of paper you wrote on and discarded, everything counts.
8. Be kind and gentle –
And this forms the basis of what the most popular Jewish victim of Hitler’s Holocaust has to say. Just the spirit of this paradisaic paradox, would reinstill your faith and resolve to be a kinder, gentler soul.
9. Believe in the goodness of people –
#FaithInHumanityRestored, you say? Just remember, this teenager, who was deprived of her home, childhood, education, and freedom; never lost her faith to begin with.
10. Never underestimate your potential –
As much as she humbles you, she reminds you, never to underestimate your own capacity; be it your capacity of greatness or your capacity to love.
11. Improve the world in any way you can –
By simply writing that down in her diary, she did it. Now is your turn. No more excuses. No more reasons. You are capable and you need not wait to change the world. That’s what she said. And that’s all you should need.
12. What you defy, you also define –
Not only does the candle defy and define the darkness, but also the darkness delineates and differentiates the candle. So choose and celebrate your darkness. Only don’t let it smother your spark.
13. Celebrate the beauty of life –
Along with #9 and #11, this is the most celebrated of her lines and for good reason. If only it were the easiest to adapt, we wouldn’t need anything else; not on this list, not on any list.
“There is always something left to love”, wrote Gabriel Garcia Marquez; and so have many writers and thinkers in their own ways and styles. So have religions. But, with Anne Frank, her life, her diary, this list; it becomes effortless to discern what is left and how to love. May the faith be with you!