by Fran Tabor
We are inundated with occasions to give gifts, from religious holidays to social milestones to be celebrated. It seems we are inundated with excuses to go shopping for things to give; things too soon forgotten. Can gifts make a difference?
Yes, sometimes a gift can change the world.
A popular gift for several centuries has been a diary. Even in today’s electronic age, diaries remain a popular gift.
Diaries figure prominently in movies and are often a source of instant humor when the “bratty younger brother” sneaks forbidden peaks at his older sister’s romantic imaginings. Diaries have given us insights into history not possible through other sources. James Boswell’s Diary of London Life is a famous example.
Nearly a century ago, a diary was given to a very ordinary girl on the verge of womanhood – a girl who wondered if she were pretty enough to be a movie star, who wondered about the people around her, her nascent romantic musings. All this and more she shared with her special friend the diary.
She never lived to womanhood, but her diary became a part of the lives of many millions who took her words into their own journey from childhood to adulthood. The gift her family gave her, the gift of a diary, gave us the gift of understanding.
Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy. A million dead is a statistic.” Anne Frank’s diary turned the statistic of millions murdered into the single death of a very ordinary girl – a girl who could have been anyone’s treasured daughter, sister, neighbor…
Her diary was, is, a gift to the world.