When we traveled to Amsterdam some years ago, my wife and I visited a home where a little girl used to live – if you can call it living. She spent her days hiding in a tiny room. She was hiding from the violence and – literally – the minute-to-minute threat of death that lingered right outside her small window.
She never knew if today were her day to die. And in the midst of all that real pain, that real suffering, those real life horrors – she wrote this: “Everyone has inside him a piece of the good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”
This young writer never got to find out how great she could be. Her name was Anne Frank – and she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, widely-believed, only several weeks before it was liberated by British soldiers and World War II came to an end.
Through her death, she left a legacy … a spark of hope … an inspired challenge that we will never forget.
Just think of the absolute horror – how frightened she must have been. Yet, she was able to step outside of herself and write that?
Most people – myself included – couldn’t write something so positive … so encouraging, because we’re too busy complaining about our “first world” problems. Anne Frank - just a young girl – had insight and vision and nurturing words to bring forth, even though her world was steeped in unimaginable horrors … and yet – she held fast to the belief that good news, love, great potential and great accomplishments were possible.
Can we see the possibilities that she saw?
Can you see how great you can be? Can you see what she saw?
And by great, I don’t mean being a star or celebrity. I mean being able to use your talents … your unique skill set – whatever it is – to serve others, to provide for others, to make a difference in someone’s life.
No matter what you do, it’s important that whatever you do – ultimately – serves someone, somehow, somewhere. You see, that service is love. To give to others, to serve others, to help someone, to solve a problem, to be kind and compassionate – that is all love.
As Anne said, “Everyone has inside him a piece of the good news inside.” Everyone has abilities that serves someone, someway. Everyone has love and goodness in them. Even people whom we consider “evil” have love and goodness inside of them, the problem is that it has been buried and covered up. And if something has been buried, it can be dug up and brought into the light… if someone wants to dig it up and expose it to the light.
It’s up to you and me to expose our love, our skill set, our abilities to the world and share them. We have no idea how much we can love, how much we can serve others, the difference we can make – unless we open ourselves to the light and share it with others.
So, don’t be afraid to be as great as you can possibly be. Don’t worry about what others may think or say – just be as great as you can be.
Don’t be afraid to love as much as possible. Don’t be upset if that love is not returned – just feel that love anyway.
Don’t be afraid to expose your gifts, your ability to serve others, your ability to love and care for others to the light.
Because none of us truly know just how great we can be. And while we will never know how great Anne Frank could have been, we do know that her wisdom exceeded her years and shined through her writing … and that her message of “good news” is still a beacon of hope and encouragement today.
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