Recently, I attended an event that reminded me of the importance of speaking up, letting others into your world, and starting a conversation to create awareness.
The event was organized by the South African nonprofit organization Tell, which stands for “Transplant Education for Living Legacies.” It aims to encourage people to talk to friends and family members about organ donation. We have a national organ donor sign-up system, but the registry is not available at hospitals. So, the decision is left up to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Tell wants people to discuss their choices so that grieving family members are not forced to make that call.
At the event, a local tattoo artist opened his shop and offered free tattoos of quotation marks — the symbol of Tell. Attendees got creative and started to custom their designs, so for example, some of my friends who had lung transplants chose to have the tattoos on their ribs.
And why quotation marks? Because they represent the start of the most important conversation you’ll ever have.
This event reminded me of how crucial it is to talk to others about what matters to you. In my case, I can educate people about rare diseases and specifically myasthenia gravis. I can inform people about the symptoms and what my “normal” life is. In the same vein, I need to listen to others and learn from them. I should find out what they are going through and offer support and kindness.
You don’t need to have a tattoo to spark a conversation, but merely a fire burning inside you to make the world a better place for yourself and others.
Let’s work together to make this happen!
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