About 2 months ago, I was asked to speak to the Mercy Hospice patients to inspire them with my stories.
I must admit that I wasn’t sure what to think or how to feel when this invitation came about. I was reluctant to do it out of anxiety more than anything else. It was a foreign situation for me as I rarely feel anxious going about my presentations.
How do I inspire people who know they have only months, even weeks to live?
Yet I was even more reluctant to decline the invitation. So I accepted and spoke at their luncheon yesterday.
It was one of the most affecting presentations I have ever done.
There was a certain sort of awe just being with a group of people who have come to terms with their mortality and made peace with that. My partner Jiun was with me and I had ever seen her in tears mid-presentation before.
We shared a light lunch with the patients after I finished my talk. It was like the most natural thing to do in the world. They all had incredible and inspirational stories to share. If only those of us who are so busy and absorbed with our own lives made the time to listen.
As the patients cleared the room, a frail aged lady walked up to me and said, “I will probably never see you again but after hearing your story, I am going to do something today that I was never going to do."
She gave me a hug, turned and slowly walked away.
In all my years as a professional speaker, those inspirational words were the most humbling reward I could ever imagine.