The people who demonstrate compassion and bravery in times of crisis teach society to appreciate the little things that humans take for granted

The people who demonstrate compassion and bravery in times of crisis teach society to appreciate the little things that humans take for granted. People often forget the importance of appreciating the things people, normally, abominate. Even the smallest of actions can impact one’s life considerably. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Liesel arrives in the basement, where Max is staying, with large handfuls of snow from the outside. With the snow, Liesel, Max, Rosa, and Hans build a small snowman in their basement. Everyone experiences a brief moment of fun that even Max tells Liesel that he wants to end his nightmare of a life but then somehow Liesel does “something like walk down the basement steps with a snowman in your her hands” (Zusak 313). Liesel is able to find small ways to create happiness with even the littlest of things to brighten everyone’s day from the abomination occuring in their town. Without Liesel’s small, meaningful gestures, the Hubermann household would become more and more bleak as the days pass. However, when Liesel creates these minor acts of sympathy, she allows everyone to join in on a heartwarming moment, even for Max Vandenburg. For Max, being a Jew during this deadly era was not easy, but with Liesel’s kind actions, she managed to comfort Max. He could not go outside or look out windows because if someone caught him, not only would they take him to a concentration camp, but they would take away Liesel’s family as well. When Max realized this, he really took the time to appreciate the true value of not only the weather reports Liesel gave him, but the thought she put into them and being able to physically feel the cold, firmness of the snow with his hands. When Liesel made a snowman in the basement, Max then acquired the true value of the things he considered merely pointless. He admired the value of moments Liesel provided and respected them, for it was all he had to make him joyful. Furthermore, appreciating doesn’t have to be limited to certain actions; it could mean appreciating one’s friends, family, or any loved ones. In this case, Paul Rusesabagina, in the historical film, Hotel Rwanda, profoundly values his entire family. Paul puts his whole family before himself to secure everyone’s safety during the ominous genocide. He repeatedly risks his life for his loved ones and allows not only his family into his hotel but complete strangers as well. Paul continuously bribes several Hutus to spare his family along with as many Tutsis and goes through great extents to keep as many possible Tutsis safe (George). While knowing the consequences of rebelling against the Hutus, Paul still does everything in his power to keep as many people possible safe. His impactful actions teach society that if one doesn’t appreciate the true meaning of family, then losing them would be worse than living without them. This was exactly Paul’s mindset as he helped all these strangers; he knew that if no one was willing to do anything about the atrocity, he had the capability to do so. Without Paul’s intent to help people and keep them safe and away from harm, the Hutus would accomplish what they longed for in the beginning; they would exterminate all the Tutsis. Overall, people should appreciate everything they are given in life, whether it’s as small as a snowman or as big as a family because it allows people to distract themselves from the negative events that take place in their life.


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