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How To Overcome Depression, By Anne Frank

When I began learning the Korean language, I decided that a great way to go about it was to read some of my favourite books that had been translated to Korean. One of the first books that I read was The Diary of Anne Frank, translated directly from German to Korean.

I never get tired of reading Anne Frank's diary. I can't get over the wealth of thoughts and experiences this young German-Jewish girl had while hiding with her family in a house for two years during the Holocaust. Anne spent two years of her life without taking a single step outdoors or feeling the wind on her face, and yet, she was able to find beauty and meaning in her life on a regular basis as she interacted with her parents, sister, another Jewish family, and an old dentist.

Here's an excerpt of one of my favourite passages from her diary. Please keep in mind that this excerpt was originally translated from German to Korean by a professor at Seoul National University, and then from Korean to English by me. Just letting you know in case you compare the following passage with a copy that has been translated directly from German to English and you notice some differences.

When a person is feeling depressed, this is my mother's advice: "Think of all of the terrible things that are happening in this world and be grateful that those things are not happening to you."

My advice for people who are depressed is different from my mother's. If you're depressed, I say go outside. Enjoy the outdoors and the feeling of the sun's rays on your skin. Strive to bring alive the happiness that lays dormant deep within you. If you focus on the beautiful things that lay within and around you, you will feel happier!

I can't agree with my mother's advice for the depressed. If you're already feeling depressed, what good can it do to wallow in more depressing thoughts about the world around you?

I believe that in the depths of all difficult moments, you can always discover something that is beautiful. If you just have the intention of finding something beautiful, you will find happiness, beauty, and peace of mind that equals the power of your intention.

Happy people cause others to be happy. If you have courage and faith in these principles, you do not have to experience chronic depression.

Anne Frank - March 7, 1944

If you would like to read more about Anne's diary and life, you can visit


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