I have just had the privilege to read Etty Hillesum’s diaries. I take a deep breath and pause before I write anymore as Ettys’s book has affected me so deeply.
Etty Hillesum was a vibrant young Jewish lady who lived in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, her diaries run from 1941 -1943 .
Reading her story has helped me so much in so many ways, I have read the book so slowly and carefully wanting to understand Etty and not wanting to rush her beautiful words.
Etty refused to give into hate and her writing is so extraordinary and moving. Every page You turn to fill you with her faith her inner attitudes.
When I got to the last few pages I could not face the printed words that lay ahead of me. I put the book down for a few days, before wrapping myself in a blanket cup of tea in hand I bravely read about the last sighting of Etty before she made her journey to Auschwitz where she dies in 1943.
I wrote out many passages, I kept reading this one over and over again
“The rottenness of others is in us to”
I really see no other solution than to turn inwards and rot out all the rottenness there. I no longer believe we can change anything in the world until we have changed ourselves.”
After reading this I had to put the book down and stop and take time to pray and reflect so deeply on her words. It’s so true we each can change the horrors of this world in which we live in. It’s in each of us and up to each of us to use the free will that God created us with.
It’s the little things we do that make a difference something as simple as a smile – a smile is contagious.
I am careful where I shop and try and use companies that have good morals. I recycle as much as possible and try not over consume. But I am also week and the pressure of modern life gets the better of me. I get cross with myself for not being able to do something simple as treating others in the same way I as would like to be treated, treated with love and respect.
I pray we can see our own rottenness inside ourselves and learn the lessons from the past and never to live to see such percussion of people every again.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ