This has been, to date one of the proudest moments of my life. The day my oldest son graduated from high school. Great memories! However, my post today isn't about him. It's about that little lady with the big smile on the right. That woman was my very dear Grandmother, and though she is no longer with us, her legacy lives on.
My sweet Grandma was one of those people that clipped things out of the newspaper that she found interesting or important. Often one of us kids would walk out to the mailbox to find a little tidbit or clipping that she sent because she thought it contained a good lesson or it made her think about us. We would all receive those little random bits of wisdom in the mailbox, no matter how old we got, right up until she passed away at the ripe old age of 91. What a blessing she was to all of us.
Well, while I was cleaning out my office today, I ran across one of those little tidbits and I wanted to share it with you. It was written to the editor of our local paper by a woman who was responding to a letter she didn't like. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? The difference here, is that is wasn't just any woman. It was a letter written by Eva Lassman, a Holocaust survivor who speaks to young people about her experiences. It was written in response to hatred, something she unfortunately knows very well. I am quoting her letter as it appeared in the paper, including the headline.
Teach love, not hate
"I write in response to those who express their venomous hatred for Israel and for people of the Jewish faith. If you could redirect your energy into promoting understanding and working for peace, we might achieve a better world. Instead, you channel your energy into hatred, which achieves nothing.
As a Holocaust survivor, I have good reason to hate others, especially those who enslaved me and killed all the members of my family. However, I've chosen a different path. Instead of preaching hate, I work hard to promote understanding and respect for one another in the hope that the future will be brighter.
I witnessed hate firsthand, both as a child and as an adult, but after the war I vowed to work for the elimination of hatred. I know it won't be easy to rid the world of hate, but anything worth achieving requires hard work and if we start with small steps, pretty soon we'll be sprinting toward a better future.
I'm not saying we'll be able to love everybody, but we have to start by educating ourselves to at least respect each other. Love and hate are both four-letter words, and it's just as easy to teach our children love and respect as to teach them hate."
I truly felt Ms. Lassman spoke volumes in a few words here, and sincerely hope her message is remembered for a long time to come. God Bless you Ms. Lassman and God Bless my Grandma.