Last week, the world lost someone very special. Sam Berns, a 17-year-old with a rare premature aging disease called Progeria, died from complications of his condition, Reuters reported.

Sam packed a lot of life in his short time with us. He was a subject of an HBO documentary on his condition. He was a very visible public face of his disease. His TEDx talk on YouTube, where he lays out his philosophy for a happy life, has more than 1.2 million views. Huffington Post summed it up perfectly: "If you measure Sam's life in years, it may seem as though he comes up short. But if you measure his life in love, it seems he'll outlive all of us.”

We all live with mental garbage. Sam’s condition doesn’t invalidate that. It puts it in perspective. It lets us know that while our burdens may be difficult to carry, many others carry even heavier ones. Sam’s life can be an inspiration to all of us to get rid of what we don’t need anymore; to toss the trash of anxiety, fear, and self-doubt so we’re free to leave our own mark on the world. It’s what Sam would have wanted for each of us.

And it’s how he lived.


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