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Working Hard Can Lead To Happiness, By Anne Frank

I thought I would share another favourite passage of mine from Anne Frank's diary. In case you aren't familiar with Anne's life, Peter was a 16 year old German-Jewish boy whose family was also in hiding with Anne's family during the Holocaust.


"I really can't understand people who don't like to work. Of course, Peter isn't one of these people. Peter just doesn't know what his life purpose is yet. He lacks confidence and has concluded that he can't accomplish too much in life because he wasn't a very good student in school. I feel sorry for him because he doesn't seem to know how good it feels to make another person happy. And this is somethinig that he has to learn on his own.

Peter doesn't have a religion, and mocks any mention of Jesus and God. Even though I don't have a religion of my own, I feel sad whenever I sense his emptiness and see him mock religion.

If you have a religion, I think you should be happy, since not everyone has the opportunity to believe in something noble. Having a religion is not about being afraid of getting punished in the after life. It's hard for me to fully understand the ideas of purgatory, hell, and heaven, but I can say that people who have a religion are likely to stay on a good path throughout their lives. It's not so much a matter of fearing God as it is guarding one's own honour and conscience.

We can all live noble lives to the extent that each night before going to sleep, we reflect on how we lived that day, the good and the bad. If we did this, I believe we would consistently try hard to improve ourselves, even without being consciously aware of this effort. It goes without saying that such reflection would lead to significant personal growth. Anybody can do this. There would be no cost involved, and yet there would be so much to gain.

I wish that everyone would discover that a clear conscience makes you a stronger person. "

Anne Frank - July 6, 1944


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