“You must never wait till things are a matter of life and death to make important relationships clear” is what American author Elizabeth Lesser’s sister said on her deathbed.
A couple of years earlier Elizabeth’s younger sister – Maggie – was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. The only solution was bone marrow transplant. Elizabeth turned out to be the perfect donor. But she insisted that before the procedure, the two of them should try and repair their relationships and create an atmosphere that would be beneficial to the transplant and reduce the risk of rejection. The process taught both sisters how important it is to be honest with others and yourself.
“She said things she’d always wanted to say. She did things she’d always wanted to do.”, says Elizabeth about her sister. “It was the same way with me. I summoned courage to be straightforward and frank with people around me. I openly shared my thoughts; but what is more, I encouraged others to do the same when communicating with me”, says Elizabeth about the process both sisters went through.
Elizabeth shortly summarises the three lessons she learned: firstly – bare your soul; secondly, stay open to change if you encounter hardship or pain, because change is striving to break through; thirdly, from time to time stop running the treadmill of life like a hamster and appreciate the really valuable things in life.
Elizabeth Lesser’s TED talk is one of the most moving and inspiring this year, TED users comment under the video.