There is a scene in the movie Freedom Writers where the class has been asked to read The Diary of Anne Frank. The students, living a life of racial strife in California resonate with Anne’s passion and struggle to survive. One scene especially stood out to me. It opens with a passage from the book:
"It's utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death.
I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness.
I feel the suffering of millions, and yet when I look up at the sky
I somehow feel that everything will change for the better. "
Then a young girl angrily enters the empty classroom to confront her teacher.
Teacher: Eva, what's wrong?
Eva - Why didn't you tell me she dies? Why you didn't tell me she gets caught in the end?
I hate you and I hate this book.
Eva - If she dies, then what about me? What are you saying about that?
Teacher: Anne Frank died, but she...
Eva - I can't believe they got her! That ain't supposed to happen
in the story! That ain't right!
Another student has entered and overheard this conversation. He speaks up:
Marcus: 'Cause it's true?
Eva -I ain't talking to you!
Marcus: You're talking around me. That's the same thing. See, to me, she ain't dead at all. How many friends did you know that are dead now that got killed?
Eva: Too many to count.
Marcus: How many have you read a book about? Have you seen them on TV or even in the newspaper?
That's why this story's dope. She was our age, man.
This struck me so hard when I saw this scene. It so simply and so clearly explains why a person, even an innocent victim can still have led a life that impacts and changes the world. How many young people died in WW2? Their stories forgotten and lost.
And yet one girl chose to write in the middle of all the chaos and later one man chose to publish his dead daughter’s words in the hope that someone might be changed. It didn’t make his daughter come back, but maybe it gave him a feeling that she did not die forgotten and unknown.
She did not.
She lives still to inspire us all.
No one, no matter how seemingly insignificant their life might be, has a pass. We all are called to make a difference with our life, not just let it slip away in self indulgence and self pity. Perhaps the struggle is too much for you right now. If you do not lose sight of the simple truth that your life matters to God and if you do something with it even so simple as to write a diary, your life could impact the world.
Like Marcus said people die every day.
One day we all will.
Have we left anything behind?
Have we made an indent on the lives of others to prove we were here?
I hope so.