“In spite of everything I still believe people are good at heart.” ~ Anne Frank
This powerful statement of a teenage Jewish girl has inspired people to compassionate action and peacemaking since it first appeared in print over 70 years ago. One of the most widely read books in the world, Anne Frank; The Diary of a Young Girl remains “one of the wisest and most moving commentaries” on World War II.
It seems counterintuitive to talk about war when thinking about peace and compassion. But it is impossible to understand the hunger for peace without experiencing the devastation of war. Likewise, it is difficult to believe how really good at heart people are without experiencing a healing, loving touch when everyone else seems to have turned their backs.
I have been privileged to know or have been associated with leading peacemakers over the years. Jim Wallis, Clare Hanrahan, Steve Magin, Richard Rohr, and others have taught me that life should always be lived with the same eternal optimism as witnessed to by Anne Frank. Even in the most difficult of situations, God is with us equally. This family of creation is all related through a common DNA. We all come from One Source. If we persist in our peacemaking efforts and listen to each other with loving ears and open hearts, it is inevitable that good will transform evil. A 15-year-old girl, doomed by her circumstances, bears this out as she tells us;
"It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again."
Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.
In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.
His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.
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Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast