The eighth day of the 12 days of a Scout Christmas reminds us that a Scout is cheerful. To be cheerful means to think positively, to find joy in the little things, to endure hardship with a heart of gratitude, and to inspire happiness in others.
Anne Frank inspired the world with her enthusiasm for life despite her challenging circumstances as a young Jew living in Holland during WWII. She could have been just another statistic of the Holocaust, but her father found the diary she wrote and had it published for the world to see.
As a young teen, Anne and her family were forced to hide behind a house wall, later joined by another family. For two years, they endured frightening moments, a cramped living space, hunger and boredom, but Anne never lost faith.
In her detailed diary, she not only explained the hardships of her ordeal but her hopes and dreams. The most shown passages were full of positivity and cheer. She wrote:
“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”
Anne seemed to always find something to bring her cheer.
“Our little room looked very bare at first with nothing on the walls; but thanks to Daddy who had brought my film-star collection and picture postcards on beforehand, and with the aid of a paste pot and brush, I have transformed the walls into one gigantic picture. This makes it look much more cheerful…”
She also had a upbeat way of thinking of the hard times that transcended the hate and anger she could have justifiably felt.
“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 believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
Anne and her family were eventually found and sent to concentration camps where all perished except her father Otto. How grateful I am that he was willing to share the thoughts of his daughter with us to help us all find a cheerful attitude in hard times.
The more I read Anne’s Diary, the more I found incredible thoughts of happiness and hope. She was truly a cheerful soul who now inspires others. May we look to Anne Frank to find a cheerful attitude this Christmas season and beyond.
Continue visiting the Voice of Scouting to find inspiring Christmas messages based on the twelve points of the Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
This year, the Christmas messages will focus on the lives of historical figures and times when they exemplified a point of the Scout Law.