Dr. Edith Eger, trauma psychotherapist, author and Holocaust survivor, is the inaugural Worldmaker Hope Builder Award winner.
The Hope Builder award is presented to a leader who responded to great adversity with courage and hope, showing us how to transform our own heartbreak into a better world for others. This award and the selection of Dr. Eger as the inaugural recipient is beautifully encapsulated by Archbishop Emeritus Desmund Tutu, “Dr. Eger’s life reveals our capacity to transcend even the greatest of horrors and to use that suffering for the benefit of others.”.
Relationships are Key to Resilience
Edith Eger was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp at age 16, where her parents were executed upon arrival. By working together with others, she was able to survive many atrocities during the Holocaust, inconceivable to most. “Cooperation, not competition. Not domination. Because all we had was each other then – and all we have is each other now.”
Going Beyond Surviving to Thriving
Edith spent decades battling survivor’s guilt, buried memories, and flashbacks to the traumas she experienced. Slowly, and through many setbacks, she found her way back to a joyful life. Ultimately, it was her courageous return to Auschwitz 35 years after the war that enabled her to make greater peace with her past.
A beacon of hope and vitality, Dr. Eger is a clinical psychologist, sought-after lecturer, and author of the international bestseller, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, a remarkable personal account of overcoming anger and shame to ultimately thrive through adversity. In her newest book, The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life, she draws on her personal and professional experience to help people heal from challenges that we all face and can keep us from living fully.
Dr. Eger encourages others to not minimize their own situation by comparing it to the types of challenges she survived in the Nazi death camps, but rather be inspired by her story and use it to overcome your own limitations and discover your personal power. In her words, “Honey, may you also choose to give up the prison and do the work to be free. To find in your suffering your own life lessons. To choose which legacy the world inherits. To hand down the pain–or to pass on the gift.”
We honor Dr. Eger for her vibrant and profound reminder of the power of choice, the importance of forgiveness, and the capacity to heal and transform our wounds into hope for others.
Stay tuned as 94-year-old Dr. Eger joins Worldmaker CEO, Dr. Mollie Marti, for a special episode of Resiliency Matters TV.