In Spite of Everything

This seems relevant.

“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are really good at heart.

It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the sufferings of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return once more.”

Anne Frank

Friday, July 21, 1944

Related Posts

On Finding Optimism (July 2013)

Nature, Not Always Red in Tooth and Claw (January 2013)

On Optimism and Human Nature (April 2011)

6 thoughts on “In Spite of Everything

  1. Patrick. You might like to know that ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is one of the few books for adults (and children) translated into Lao. Big Brother Mouse (Ai Nu Noy) published after receiving so many complaints from people like me that they can’t go on producing nebulous stories about a boy and his buffalo for ever. I distributed ten copies and got the ten (Lao) readers together. I was surprised that they all loved it. I was not surprised that all thought Anne was hiding from a bunch of bad guys. Not one had any idea of Nazism and antisemitism. When I went on to explain a bit about WW2, I started with the question, ‘Who won it?’ Everybody decided the Germans must have won it…

    • I’m not surprised they loved it. She was very wise and eloquent for someone so young. Or, perhaps more young people have that level of depth than I’m aware of, and I just need to listen more.

      I’m also aware of the tragic fact that Anne Frank’s optimism was not rewarded and that she was a victim of evil. There are some who would take that fact as a sign of her naivety, that seeing good in people is a losing proposition. I don’t. I cannot help but admire her bravery, and think that if more people thought like her, especially when times got dark, humanity would be much better off.

  2. I suppose we intuit that we create what we believe and so optimism, like pessimism, is a self-fulfilling sort of paradigm (I wanted so badly to say ‘program!’). Maybe the difference is that optimism hopes it is, and pessimism denies it is?

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