While hiding out in her father’s office building in Amsterdam during World War II, Anne Frank kept a diary that has become a widely read personal account. One of the lines read “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”
I recently spoke with someone who I love and admire very much. She talked about her son and how he would do the right thing even if it meant that he would suffer negative consequences because of it. Her son was once caught for doing something wrong. His friends ran away in order to avoid punishment, but he stayed to help a little brother of one of his friends. The little brother had tripped and fallen, and because he stopped to help he got caught while the others got away. All this at the age of thirteen. This little boy grew up to be someone who would always put others before himself, often sacrificing his own comfort for the sake of people he barely even knew.
How can it be that people face difficult circumstances and still emerge with love in their hearts?
The answer is clear: They have to choose to do so.
Sadly, I look around and see how often people choose to do the opposite. They choose to be vengeful. They choose to be spiteful. They choose to hold grudges. They choose to make assumptions. It’s cyclical. When they treat people that way, their targets grant them the same treatment.
Why do we focus on the negative things people do and then hold those things against them? Why do we always think that we’ve got all the answers and never consider the feelings of others?
I know it’s possible because it’s been done before but why is it so hard for us to simply Measure in Love?