Why I read. Those who read my blog post from early May (or glanced at the title of this post...) might know the answer. I read to gain perspective on the world around me. Reading with this purpose, or in general, helps us gain empathy and affords us the opportunity to view things differently - oftentimes challenging our ideals or beliefs, other times strengthening the ones we had.
Perspective allows us to overcome those pesky annoyances we experience, re-focusing our attention on the bigger picture. This lighthouse of sorts, gives us the guidance we need despite seeing the world around us, “gradually being turned into a wilderness." As we, "hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, [we] can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if [we] look up into the heavens, [we] think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again. In the meantime, [we] must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when [we] shall be able to carry them out.”
These wise words were captured and bestowed upon humanity in a diary of a freshly turned 15 year-old woman, Anne Frank. In middle school and high school, I read many classics in literature as part of the curriculum, but never had the privilege of reading The Diary of a Young Girl until only recently. But boy, am I glad I did.
Anne walks the reader through the many journeys she experiences, including that all-too-difficult transition between child and young adult (or at least attempting to be treated as one - been there...). Throughout each and every logged journal entry, addressed to Kitty - the name of her diary - I am incredibly amazed by not only her resolve and self-deprecating humor, but also by her intellect and writing ability. She was truly gifted beyond all comparison for a thirteen-to-fifteen-year-old girl. Reading her witty, articulate musings and feeling her raw emotions through one of the darkest times in human history brought me tremendous joy, sadness, laughter, and hope.