"The planet does not need more successful people. It needs people to live well in their places.” -The Dalai Lama
Those who ‘live well in their places’ don’t typically receive much attention. They are often not traditionally successful.
Not like James Frey, who has written several New York Times bestselling books and had a recent book made into a film by DreamWorks. You probably recognize Frey’s name. He was the writer exposed as a fraud on Oprah Winfrey’s show for his falsified memoir, A Million Little Pieces. While he suffered a few setbacks in the wake of this revelation in 2006, he is now back to being a New York Times bestselling author, with a new seven-figure, three-book deal with Harper Collins. It has been billed by the press as “The Comeback of the Decade.”
You probably do not recognize the name, Miep Gies. Miep Gies also published a memoir, Anne Frank Remembered, but she is known as the person who saved Anne Frank’s Diary. She saved it, unread, in her desk drawer until she could get the diary to the only surviving family member, Anne’s Father Otto. Geis risked death day upon day for two years during World War II as she hid the Frank family and others from the Nazis. She didn’t seek attention, success or fame; waiting decades to relay her insight into Anne’s story. She didn't want to be labeled a hero.
She said, “Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary.”
But her acts of courage were what allowed those two year’s of Anne’s life, which, in turn, gave the world the now infamous diary that inspires and moves so many.
Who do you strive to be? Someone like James Frey? Or no one like Miep Gies?