Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our Human Duty

Miep Gies with her husband, Jan, on their wedding day, July 16, 1941.

I read this morning that Miep Gies, the office secretary who helped Anne Frank and her family hide from the Nazis for two years, and saved Anne's diary, died on Monday. She was 100 years old.

While she was lauded as a hero for her efforts in aiding Jewish families during the Holocaust, she didn't feel worthy of the title "hero." She noted that there were others who did far more dangerous acts to help others during World War II, yet her acts of kindness accomplished extraordinary things. She risked her life to try to save the lives of others. In 1997 during an online discussion with school children she said,

"I don't want to be considered a hero. 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."

I love that: "do your human duty." If only more of that took place in the world today. If only more of us looked at the world through the eyes of Miep Gies and reached out to lend a hand. It is our human duty as citizens of this earth. I am a very blessed person and while I live a busy life, I've recognized over the last year that I need to do more to serve and help others. It not only benefits others in so many ways, but it's food for our souls as well. And, it's our human duty.
Image courtesy of the Anne Frank Museum

11 comments:

annechovie said...

What an extraordinary woman! Have a great week.

Summer is a Verb said...

So humbling and inspiring...XXOO

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Loved this..... very inspiring, indeed.....

more later,
kary
xxx

James said...

I must remember that phrase " human duty"! How many times as a society do we fail at that. Thank you for a highly thought provoking post.

Molly Lou Gifts said...

Thank you so much for this piece. Something we all need to take a moment to stop and think about.

You are so right...think of how incredible it would be if everyone would do their "human duty."

bevysblog said...

Wonderful piece... wonderful woman. There is definitely a place in heaven for this blessed woman.

The Consummate Hostess said...

Lovely tribute to an incredible lady. I love her bits of wisdom- we should all be so wise, insightful and kind.

A Refocused Life said...

Inspiring, interesting, and a great reminder.

Queen "B" said...

Aloha, I am so thankful you posted this, I was not aware of her passing, but I loved and admired her.She was a hero....she will be missed...
Aloha wishes
Brandi

EntertainingMom said...

I was so saddened to read this the other day. Truly she is a hero!

Haven and Home said...

Well said, I couldn't agree more!