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Poster Commentary
"How wonderful it is that no one has to wait, but can start right now to gradually change the world!"Anne Frank
Poster design:Asaf Hanuka


by Tova Mirvis
Too often, we wait to start changing the world.Perhaps we feel too powerless, too busy, too far away, or too small. How can we—each of us just one person—change a world that is so vast and so broken?
Who more than Anne Frank witnessed the brokenness of the world? For over two years, she and her family were hidden from the Nazis until they were betrayed and deported to Bergen-Belsen, where she died at the age of fifteen. And yet, even amid those horrors, Anne understood the power of one person and one action. She was saved by individuals who improved one part of the world. And she was betrayed by individuals who further tarnished a part of the world.
Anne’s heartbreakingly hopeful words beseech us to break out of our inertia. Her words reassure us too. We can gradually change the world, not solve all
its problems at once. Her words remind us that one small voice yields enormous power, that one small act ricochets widely, inspiring another good act, then another. A hundred acts of a hundred different people become a thousand, then a hundred thousand. One small act can be like those rolling ball sculptures where a ball rolls down a ramp, strikes a lever that opens a door that activates a lift that rings a bell.
We can be one of those balls set in motion. One act changes the world. It changes us, too.
Tova Mirvis is the author of three novels, Visible City, The Outside World, and The Ladies Auxiliary (a national best-seller). Her essays have appeared in various anthologies and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Commentary, and Poets and Writers. Mirvis’s fiction has been broadcast on NPR, and she has served as a visiting scholar at Brandeis University. She holds a Master in Fine Arts in fiction writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Conversation Guide

1. Was there a time that you decided to put off taking action to make positive changes? Is there a time when you understood that you could not wait?
2. How do you understand Anne Frank’s optimism, given the harrowing circumstances in which she lived?
3. Why do you think The Diary of a Young Girl has had an impact on so many people around the world? If you have read Anne Frank’s diary, what was your reaction to it?
1. Why do you think the artist divides this image in two? What is conveyed in each half? How does this separation of top and bottom relate to the quote?
2. Which part of the image—the top or the bottom—looks like your life today? Why?
3. How does this image convey the idea of changing the world? Which elements suggest this lofty goal?




Frames of Mind@2015, Asaf Hanuka, Quote: Anne Frank, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, West Springfield, MA