I have had the honor to sit in the library at Grand Canyon University and listen to Magda Herzberger speak to hundreds of college students and adults about her survival of the holocaust. Magda is now 92 and is a ball of energy and joy as well as an inspiration to many people across the world.
Magda was introduced to the quiet of the library on a rainy Tuesday night. She stood up from her chair on stage and said a witty joke to make her crowd hesitantly laugh, as at first everyone was intimidated by this 92-year-old holocaust survivor. Magda began telling her survival story of three death camps starting when she was 18 years old.
Listening to Magda's story was truly inspiring and gave chills to many as she was only 18 when her life changed upside down. Almost half of her audience is around the same age as she was when she was in the death camps, which makes it more personable. She lost her father while her mother survived until she was 93 years old.
Being 19, the same age Magda was when she was in the death camps reminded me that it was truly an honor to be in her presence. Sitting in the library listening to her survival story made me think that if I were in her shoes when she was encamped, I wouldn't know how to physically do what she did to survive.
She was separated from her family from the beginning and had to survive without her family encouraging her to survive. Family is very important to me, being separated from my family would be terrible, especially if you had to fend for yourself and try to survive all the circumstances Magda went through.
I feel like everyone takes life for granted. Period. Even if you haven't had something catastrophic happen to you, people still take life for granted. Listening to Magda has really helped me realize that the little things people get upset about like someone not texting you back or not getting your way are small things to be mad about in this big world.
There are much bigger things in life you could be worried about. Magda's life was completely changed from age 19. And we are over here thinking our world changed when we received a bad grade on a test.
We all need to put life in perspective and think, "Is this something to actually be upset about? Is this something we need to let change our life?" The next time something comes up that makes you upset, think about Magda's survival story of the Holocaust.
Magda's philosophy in life is: "Have faith, hope, and love in your heart... Believe in impossible dreams and make them come true... Cherish each moment of life... and NEVER take anything for granted."