Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life

Edith Eva Eger grew up as a Jew in Hungary. As a teenager, she was hauled to a concentration camp and required to dance for a Nazi leader. Her parents were killed, but she lived to be liberated. She later moved to the United States and eventually received a PhD in clinical psychology. In the concentration camp she saw people die because they lost hope. There were many things outside of individual control. An appropriate focus allowed one to keep living, but it was not easy.

She spent years suffering from various types of guilt. One of the points of the book is that guilt is not helpful. There may have been things that could have been done to prevent somebody else's death. However, dwelling over them will not bring them back. It is important to not get brought down by the "might have beens". It is also not useful to hope for a big change that will resolve things. The change will happen inside. Once the internal change happens, the external can them resolve itself. A divorce is just a legal apparatus. It won't help somebody in a bad relationship unless the people really want to change. Conflict is normal. However, it must be dealt with appropriately. Looking to achieve happiness by having other people change is a recipe for failure.

The book has many good bits of advice colored with powerful anecdotes.

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