Thursday, May 26, 2011

Smart Choices

Talk650 Morning Show Host Brent Clanton
I look at a lot of news stories in a 24-hour period. This morning we’re talking about the Midwest tornadoes and three consecutive days of tornadic activity, and the Joplin devastation is now being described as Hurricane Katrina without the water. An apt description.

Many of these stories will affect your life, either directly or indirectly--taxes, fuel costs, insurance, the weather, legislation for- or against- things- We have to deal with these things on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

And then you run across a story that just rocks you back on your heels—either because it is so far-fetched as to be comical (like the guy in New Zealand who fell onto a compressed air line, which punctured his backside and sent a jet of air at 100-psi into his body, inflating him like a balloon. You just can’t make up this stuff!)--or it defies rational thought, like the story about a school district in California that can’t figure out how to teach Johnny to read and do math, but they’re going to teach the kids about gender-bending in some species of fish…
Yeah, that’s a life-lesson elementary students need to learn.

You’ve got Oprah’s last show…
American Idol’s latest winner…
The man who shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords deemed mentally unfit for trial…and why am I not surprised at that outcome?

Elizabeth Smart, aged 14-years
One story that continues to reverberate with me, however, is the Elizabeth Smart saga, which finally came to closure yesterday—although it would seem Ms. Smart already reached closure with her circumstances long ago, choosing to grow past them.

At the age of 14, Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped by itinerant street preacher, Brian David Mitchell, and for the next several months was held captive and sexually assaulted by the man on a daily basis. She was tethered to a cable strung between two trees, and forced to ingest drugs and alcohol. 
At the age of 14.

You might expect that to sour one’s attitude on life.
You might expect an ordeal like that to make you just a little leery of other people.
You might never go to bed again without leaving a light on, and triple checking the locks and windows.

Elizabeth Smart's convicted kidnapper,
Brian David Mitchell
Elizabeth Smart looked Brian David Mitchell in the eye at his sentencing to two life terms without parole, and simply stated a pure and freeing truth: 
“You will never affect me again.”

You lose.
Elizabeth wins.
And with that simple admission, Elizabeth Smart chose to free herself from dwelling in the past, carrying around a burden, and letting her ordeal drag her down.

That’s not to say she might not have nightmares, that she’s never going to be the same again; I’m not minimizing the mental and physical trauma of Elizabeth Smart’s unspeakable treatment.

Elizabeth Smart, 2011
But she’s emerged from this ordeal as a woman of strength, articulate, and caring. She’s a music student at BYU, and she’s going to be working with other crime victims and missing childrens groups. She calls it a “beautiful, new chapter” opening in her life, as she turns the page past this terrible chapter.

Good for Elizabeth Smart.
She’s an inspiration.
She’s an example.
She’s a winner.

1 comment:

Lisa Schott said...

Slammin'! You are spot on, Sir! She wins.

Now, if we could just get the rest of the world remember the great lesson from the kings of history:

WIPE his name from the record, erase his image so no one shall EVER remember his name. Refer to him as simply his prisoner number. Never forget the lessons, but erase and name or fame it might allow. ie: Manson, et al