Meet Alice. #50: 2011
A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a short YouTube documentary that has been resonating in my brain, so I thought I’d share it with you. It is an inspiring piece, a triumph of spirit, a celebration of music, and ultimately, a testament of the human spirit’s ability to empower and sustain.
Alice Dancing Under the Gallows is a fabulous interview with the simply amazing Alice Herz-Sommer. Alice is the oldest holocaust survivor in the world, and, at age 107, is still playing the piano and explaining life to us! Have a look… http://www.youtube.com/user/AliceTheFilm
What really resonated with me was when she said, “the worst thing in life, in my opinion, is boredom.” At first, I was shocked at this coming from a holocaust survivor; I thought she would note that war or man’s inhumanity to man were the worst. Of course, as a librarian, I had to look up the definition of “boredom” to be sure I was thinking of the same thing. The word “boredom” is derived from a French word and is defined as a reaction to dull, repetitive, or tedious activities; it is also defined as suffering from a lack of interesting things to see, hear, or do.
For librarians, I would suggest this is truly great news, as we are the great eliminators of boredom! We are the lifelong learners and the folks who always can find something for anyone (even my brother, the non-reading car guy!) to tweak their fancy, challenge their thoughts, help them escape, or help them cope. Alice, libraries are the answer to fighting boredom!
The other thing that struck me was when, in her delightful accent, Alice said, “laughter is something beautiful.” She spoke about the physiological and psychological benefits of laughter. Librarians tend to be a serious lot. So, in this new year and in my new job, I really appreciate her words about the power of laughter and how life-assuring and important it is.
So, here’s to Alice and to the library workers around the world who eliminate boredom every single day and who understand the beauty of laughter.
Have a great week.
Kitty Pope #50 January /11