The Diary of a Young Girl - Lessons for Mankind

A diary is a record of events in a person’s life arranged in chronological order, usually by hand. It can also be a social commentary of the times they lived in or about their personal experience traveling around the world.

Earliest diaries belong to the Middle Eastern and East Asian cultures.

The person who keeps a diary is known as a diarist.

Perhaps the most famous diary keeper was the German teenager Anne Frank, who chronicled her life in hiding in The Diary of a Young Girl during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.

The Frank family who lived in Germany had to move to the Netherlands after losing the German citizenship. They were then forced to go into hiding to avoid being sent to the concentration camps by the Nazis.

They concealed themselves in some rooms behind the bookshelves in the building where Anne’s father Otto Frank worked. To pass the time, the young Anne took to writing, examining various issues such as her relationships with the rest of the family members, their persecution by the Nazis, and even her plans for the future, once they came out of hiding.

The diaries were published after the Franks, with the exception of Otto, perished at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Legacy of Anne Frank

Anne Frank, who kept up good cheer and spirits in the face of extreme adversities, has since become an icon and a symbol of hope for millions of people around the world. The diaries also serve to remind human beings of the past mistakes and how we can create a better future.

      It’s about survival: No matter how tough one’s circumstances are. One can survive against all odds if one is mentally tough.

      It’s about growing up: Young people often go through a crisis of identity growing up, but they also learn valuable lessons in the bargain.
      It’s about humanism: Prejudice is the greatest threat to humanity. Hatred for others based on differences things like ethnicity, religion has no place in a civilized society.

      It’s about hope: Never lose hope. Knowing well that their chances of escape were virtually nil does not stop Anne from planning for her future.

Should children be encouraged to keep a diary?

Yes, the exercise can benefit your child in the following ways.

      Self-Expression: Children benefit from learning to express themselves on a given topic. This ability is very important for personality development.
      Self-Help: Excellent written communication is a prerequisite for any job and regular writing can sharpen those skills in children without much intervention from adults.
      Self-Evaluation: Re-visiting an old entry gives children a chance to evaluate the thought process at the time and how it has evolved over a period of time to what it is now.
      Self-Correction: Children can correct the writing and also examine if they were right or wrong in coming to a particular conclusion at a given point in time.
      Self-Esteem: Ability to chronicle one’s feelings and thoughts clearly can make your children independent in thought and action, thus boosting their sense of self-worth.