But in order to be a truly positive person in all circumstances, one has to learn how to distinguish real gold from tinsel. It is hard, because tinsel sometimes glitters so dazzlingly. I confess, my child, that often in my life I was dazzled by glitter. And sometimes it even shone so falsely, that one dropped pure gold from one's hand and reached for, or ran after, false gold.
This quote was written by Milada Horáková the night before her execution on June 27, 1950. She was convicted of high treason; found guilty of plotting to overthrow the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. It is an excerpt from a letter she wrote to her 16 year old daughter.
I came upon it on a blog called Letters of Note, a website that features under the radar correspondence from/to famous people. If you love obscure quotes that you can't find on sites like BrainyQuotes, it is an interesting place to visit.
It makes me wonder what I might feel compelled to write to my kids if I knew I was going to die tomorrow. She was a brave woman. She was very wise. I’m not sure I could write anything as profound as what she penned in the letter. I wonder if she wept as she wrote it. I wonder if she questioned the choices she made in her life....whether what she thought was gold what actually tinsel.
One day, when you grow up, you will wonder and wonder, why your mother who loved you and whose greatest gift you were, managed her life so strangely. Perhaps then you will find the right solution to this problem, perhaps a better one than I could give you today myself. Of course, you will only be able to solve it correctly and truthfully by knowing very, very much. Not only from books, but from people; learn from everybody, no matter how unimportant! Go through the world with open eyes, and listen not only to your own pains and interests, but also to the pains, interests and longings of others.
Until my last breath I shall pray for your happiness, my dear child!