Once again I am sat in my office, at my laptop, thinking what do I write about this week. Especially as ’13' is my favourite number, 'its got to be good'.
I thought writing blogs would be easy and I would have lots to say. But it's actually quite hard to find topics that you relate to (hopefully).
So, let's start with the weather, it has certainly changed this week. We have had some beautiful days and, for me, I have been sorting out the garden by buying some really boring adult stuff like fence panels, wooden gates and bucket plant pots, making the garden aesthetically pleasing. But currently I only see it from the kitchen window and french doors, money well spent, I think not!
In writing the above paragraph and certain events that have happened over the last week, I think I want to start by talking about the word ‘aesthetically’ aka beauty.
Adverb - in a way that relates to the enjoyment or study of beauty:
I like objects to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
What do you find aesthetically pleasing? Or what do you find beauty in?
Is it a garden with a freshly painted fence, filled with flowers?
Sitting on a beach looking out onto the sea, listening to the waves come in?
Looking up at the stars on a clear night, imagining the expanse of space?
I could give so many examples, we all find beauty in so many things and we are all different.
As you may have guessed, the 3 above are just some of mine. I have spent many hours doing them. I remember a quote I heard at school that has stuck with me:
I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
Bit of history for in case you’ve not heard of Anne Frank.
Anne was born on 12th June 1929, she was a young teenager in the Netherlands during the Holocaust. This year would have been her 91st birthday.
She lived in Amsterdam with her family, but - in 1942 - the Franks were forced to go into hiding from the Nazis who wanted to get rid of Europe's Jewish population.
During this time in hiding, Anne kept a diary, which would go on to become one of the most famous books in the whole world.
But she would never live to see her dream of becoming a writer turn into a reality, as she was tragically killed in the Holocaust. It was her father who published her writing, as he survived World War Two and her diary was passed on to him.
The Nazi regime killed over six million Jews, and more than five million non-Jews were murdered under the regime. Among them were Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, blacks, the physically and mentally disabled, political opponents of the Nazis, including Communists and Social Democrats, dissenting clergy, resistance fighters, prisoners of war, Slavic peoples, and many individuals from the artistic communities whose opinions and works Hitler condemned. The Nazis' justification for genocide was the ancient claim, passed down through Nordic legends, that Germans were superior to all other groups and constituted a "master race."
Who constituted this "master race?"
Blue-eyed, blond-haired people of Nordic stock, or "Aryans."
As such, they had the right to declare who was worthy of life and who was not, who was to be maimed by sterilisation or experimented upon in the interest of attaining racial purity, and who was to be used as slave labor to further the Nazi empire.
We all now look back at this time in history and condemn him and his followers actions. But in the world today, people are still discriminated against. Not to the extremes of gas chambers and prison camps that the Nazis used, but discriminated all the same. People are still losing their lives over the differences people see in them.
Why is the colour of someone's skin discriminated against?
You can find differences with every person. Everyone is unique in their own way. So why is it some peoples uniqueness is discriminated against:
Why is the colour of someones skin discriminated against?
Why is the religion of someone discriminated against?
Why is the disability of someone discriminated against?
Why is the sexual orientation of someone discriminated against?
Why is the size of someone discriminated against?
Why is the mental health of someone discriminated against?
Why? Why? Why?
Now I am not saying that all of these are equally discriminated against.
But my point is everyone is unique, everyone is beautiful and we should celebrate that, be accepting of everyone's differences and just show love and compassion to everyone around us regardless of their uniqueness.
My wife, Sarah, is coming to the end of her Counselling Degree and is going on to start her bachelors in September. In her studies and essays she has come across, from numerous psychology theorists, this: ‘you can't define abnormal without defining normal’.
So ‘What is normal?’
I’ll give you a hint. It doesn’t exist!
We don’t have to go far to find beauty and uniqueness in our world, it's all around us, in the people we meet, the places we visit and in the experiences that give us joy. So, this week, show love and compassion to everyone around us, regardless of their uniqueness.
Stay Safe, Stay Beautiful and Embrace Uniqueness!
This week’s resource...
Book: The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition of the World’s Most Famous Diary
Can be found: Your choice of book retailer or Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0055N0FZM/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_7542EbY94P356 (Paperback £7.54, Kindle £4.99)
About: One of the most famous accounts of living under the Nazi regime comes from the diary of a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl, Anne Frank. Edited by her father Otto H. Frank and German novelist Mirjam Pressler, this is a true story to be rediscovered by each new generation.
12th July 1944: 'It's difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.’
In the summer of 1942, fleeing the horrors of the Nazi occupation, Anne Frank and her family were forced into hiding in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse.
Aged thirteen, Anne kept a diary of her time in the secret annexe. She movingly revealed how the eight people living under these extraordinary conditions coped with hunger, the daily threat of discovery and death and isolation from the outside world.
A thought-provoking record of tension and struggle, adolescence and confinement, anger and heartbreak, the diary of Anne Frank is a testament to the atrocities of the past and a promise they will never be forgotten.