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Inspiring Optimism of Holocaust Survivor Alice Summer

To many North London where she lives, Alice Summer is known as the lady in number apartment six. Here attitude and her music have blessed all who know her. Alice is the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world. This November she will be 107, and, as with every day, she is looking forward to the party. Alice loves life, music, laughter and the choice of optimistically celebrating life.

During World War II, she was a well-known concert pianist living in Prague. At the age of 39 she was taken to Theresienstadt, the one concentration camp the Nazi’s used to show the west how well the Jews were treated. Because she was a noted pianist, she was allowed to live, to perform and to keep her son with her. Alice said, “When I could play, it could not be too terrible. Music is music.” To Alice, she continues to say, “Every day is beautiful.”

Alice’s experience is similar to the experience of Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl. Frankl, who I discuss in The Optimism Advantage, said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.’”

Nourished by the power of music, Alice talked about the role attitude has played in her life: “I was born an optimist. Optimism—it helps you. When you are optimistic, when you are not complaining, when you look at the good side of life, everybody loves you. When you are old, you can be aware of the beauty of life.”

Optimism is a choice we bring to the best and worst of life. Music is one of the blessings that makes the ride worthwhile. Watch this video and be touched by this inspiring woman.

Make music a part of your day. Make optimism the attitude you bring to life. Like Alice, may you live all the days of your life with an appreciation for the gift of every day.

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