Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Life Well Spent

"Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary."


*image from Yahoo! News


The above quote is attributed to Miep Gies in the obituary posted on Yahoo. If you have ever read the Diary of Anny Frank you will recognize the name as that of the woman who, along with her husband, hid Anne's family and four other Jews from the Nazis for two years. Gies said when Otto Frank asked her to provide refuge she agreed because it seemed perfectly natural to do what was needed by people who were powerless at the time. She felt it was unfair that she received accolades when others had done far more than she had. Even into her late years she continued her efforts to refute those who deny the Holocaust.

Ordinary. Natural. Human duty.

I agree that we need not regard ourselves as heroes in order to chose what is right even when those around us are not. We must not allow that sort of thinking lead us to apathy toward our fellow man. However, I respectfully disagree on one point with Ms. Gies. When evil is great enough and an ordinary housewife finds it natural to perform her human duty in protecting the powerless from that evil even at great personal risk it is irrefutably heroic. Perhaps some did more, but when so many did nothing Miep Gies did her part to resist evil so it may not triumph by the inaction of good people. She did it gladly and without hesitation. May she rest in peace. May her reward be great.

22 comments:

~Dragonfly~* said...

I have no doubt her reward will be great.

One of my favorite quotes was found scribbled on a wall where someone was hiding from the Nazis.... it said...

I believe in the sun
even when it's not shining.
I believe in love
even when I am alone.
I believe in God
even when he is silent.

May all who suffered and all those who helped to ease their pain, even in the slightest, rest peacefully for all time.

~DF~*

Jazz said...

She was indeed a hero.

Hilary said...

Nicely stated, Lime. True heros never recognize themselves as such.

Cricket said...

Amen. I think it was Robert Fulghum who wrote:
Saints are everywhere and Scriptures abound.

furiousBall said...

very very sweet.

Cocotte said...

She was a Superhero.

coopernicus said...

Well said...

g-man said...

Whether she likes it or not...
Her inspiration to others, makes her great!
Nicely done Michelle...G

Moannie said...

Beautifully put. And I agree with every word.

Craig said...

Thank you for this, Lime. Thank you very much. . .

It has occurred to me that most heroic deeds are done by folks who really aren't thinking about being heroes, just doing what they see needs to be done. . .

And this lady was most definitely a hero of the highest order. . .

Ananda girl said...

Amazing inspirational woman. A life well lived indeed!

Suldog said...

Amen, Amen, and Amen.

Craver Vii said...

May her story inspire each of us to step up and do the "ordinary, natural, human duty" when we are needed. Quit your snickering; I said "duty," not "doodie."

Anyway, thanks for recognizing her, Lime.

Spanish Princess said...

I think that our lives are better for strong female role models like this.

Fortress Guinness said...

great post Lime...!!!

secret agent woman said...

I get tired of the overuse of the word "hero" but in this case, it's warranted.

Beach Bum said...

Truly a great woman. Thanks for this post Lime, never heard a word about this on any of the news shows or channels.

VE said...

Lime...you are a hero for posting about her. ;)

Funny...I just read that article before visiting here. We're in synch today. You're having Coco Puffs for breakfast too, right?

choochoo said...

I'll sign that, so to speak :D

Jocelyn said...

People like her make me believe there has to be a heaven--that there has to be a reward for such goodness.

snowelf said...

I read Diary of Anne Frank in the 8th grade. While my peers were snickering at page "whatever" when she is doing her self exploration, my heart was breaking for her and her terrified family. I cannot imagine for a second having to live like that.
Meip is a hero indeed.

--snow

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

you sad everything, so well Lime....