“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank

Walking through the Anne Frank house, I felt closer to her story than I ever did before in the books I’d read or movies I’d watched about her. She fled persecution, went into hiding, then died in a concentration camp– having lived only 15 years. She was a courageous soul that despite horrific atrocities decided to believe in the good of people. In her diary, she was true to herself and gave a voice, a human story, to the millions that were slaughtered in the Holocaust. And the life that she was given? She lived it to the fullest.

Then, I discovered we share the same birthday. Sharing this day with Anne reminded me of the brevity of our lives– and the subsequent urgency to live and love and learn and fight for what we believe in. She did so much in her short time on Earth amidst tribulations– that we are warranted no excuse.