The video that I have chosen is called “3 things I learned while my plane crashed”. http://www.ted.com/talks/ric_elias.html. I chose this video because it made my mind take in a million thoughts with every word that Ric Elias said as he told his inspiring story. Another reason why I chose this video was because exactly a week from today, last Sunday, thoughts similar to Ric’s went through my head. Before I explain the video, I will briefly tell you about what happened last Sunday.
I woke up and started in with my Sunday routines. Stayed in bed until 12 doing homework and studying and then went to my
Nan and Pop’s for
dinner. I had the Carbonear Santa Claus parade today, so I went to meet my
dance group at the Hospital to begin. The parade ended up taking a different,
and much longer route than ever before, and the weather turned from light snow
to heavy winds and hail. Finally when the parade was over, my friend called her
dad to come pick us up. He said there was no way he could get to the area that
we were because all the roads were still blocked off. We started back tracking
the parade route to meet her dad to pick us up. As we were walking in the cold
we were complaining about having to walk, how long the parade was, how tired we
were and how we wanted hot chocolate after to get warmed up again. Suddenly,
while walking past all the floats of the parade, we heard a man speak who must
have overheard us complaining. He said “Girls, cheer up! You did a great job
dancing, and I know it may be cold… But smile! It is Christmas!” We smiled,
thanked him and kept walking until we reached the car to go home.
In the video, Ric talked about how life can change in an instant. He talked about how people take things for granted sometimes and how certain experiences can change your view towards many situations. Ric had been on a plane that was in the process of crashing. After viewing smoke and noticing the plane changing direction, he heard the pilot say three life changing words “Brace for impact”. Thoughts shot through Ric’s head and at that instant he thought that this was it… Life was over. This one emotional experience changed his life. It was then that Ric learned 3 things about his self….
The first thing that Ric had learned was that he had a whole new meaning for the phrase “it all can change in an instant”. He thought about what he wanted to do in his life, the people he wanted to reach out to but could not, and the things that he wanted to do but never did. He realized that he no longer wanted to postpone anything anymore.
The second thing that he realized was his one regret. He regretted the time that he wasted on things that did not matter. As he thought about his family he reflected back to things that had happened. Ric decided to eliminate the negative energy in his life. This made him see his life as being better. He never had a fight with his wife in a while and said that he no longer tries to be right… He chooses to be happy.
The final and third life changing thought that impacted Ric’s life was that dying was not really that scary. He felt that he was preparing for it his whole life. He did not want to go because he loved his life and family and found thinking about it very overwhelming and sad. He had only wished that he would be able to see his kids grow up. A month later, while attending a show of his daughter’s it made him very emotional, and things started to make sense to him. He then realized that the only thing that matters to him is being a great dad… that is his only goal.
Ric claims that he was given a huge gift throughout his terrifying experience. He simply states that this gift was seeing into the future that day to be able to come back again living differently. He was thankful to be alive and thankful to receive the huge impact that his frightening experience had held on his life.
By now you have probably forgotten about my story about Sunday past, but it will all tie together soon enough. About an hour after the parade was over the news about a horrible accident spread around town. My friend called to tell me that it did not look to be good. He said there were white screens up blocking the road and a lot of emergency vehicles. My stomach suddenly dropped as I thought about the accident. My mom came through the door and told me it was a man from the motorcycle float dressed as the “Grinch”. She told me that on the way home, after winning an award for the best float, he fell through the bars of his wooden cage on the float while the truck was driving around the turn and got ran over. He was killed. Hearing this drew tears to my eyes and made my stomach drop even lower down as I began to shake. He was the man who told us the message; “Girls, cheer up! You did a great job dancing, and I know it may be cold… But smile! It is Christmas!”. This was my first time hearing this man speak, seeing him and responding to him but it held a great impact on my life.
With the shocking news in my mind, many more thoughts, similar to Ric’s filled my head. I began to think about how fragile life is. The man woke up in the morning just like I did, thinking it was a normal day. The thought of his death probably did not even cross his mind… But life can change in an instant. Thinking back to my dance class and complaining about the coldness and the extra few kilometres that we had to walk made me feel stupid and selfish. I realized that there are major things in life and there are minor. This was minor. I realized that there are people suffering with worse situations than sore legs and cold shivers. I came to the conclusion that I overreact a lot of times and set a goal for myself to stop and think whenever I am in a situation that I feel is horrible. I concluded that everyone will face little problems and stresses everyday but they are not the end of the world. For this man it was the end of his world. I began to direct my thoughts to his family. I knew of his son, a boy in grade nine. It was so close to Christmas and the boy would never be able to be with his father again. The man’s wife would now be alone raising her kids. It seemed all so unfair and unreal to me. This was not a minor situation for this family… this was major. It all happened so quickly with no notice to anyone. I wished that I could turn back the time to prevent this all from happening… But I could not… No body could.
I also came to realize that in life there are many things that can change how you view the world or even change how you feel about something, if it is your experience or just hearing about someone else’s. I was impacted by this horrible event that I wish I could put out of my mind but I can not because of the changes it has made to who I am. I try not to think negatively as much as I used to and I try to wake up, thinking “this will be a good day”… thinking more positively.
After clicking this video and hearing the first few sentences I knew I was in for an emotional ride. I knew it would impact me. For some of you, you may not connect as well to this video as I do. Maybe you have not had an experience that made this video impact you like it did to me. Try putting your self in a life changing situation and think about the answers to these questions. How would you as a person change? How would your feelings towards other things change? What would you have done differently in the past? Like Ric, I now learnt to appreciate the things and people in my life even more. I thought back to all the times in the past that I wasted being upset over minor things and realized that if only I had changed the situation, or not allowed myself to make a big deal out of the little things, I would not have had as many bad things in my life. Instead my life would have been filled with more things that were good if I simply would have thought positively, looked back and realized that the situation is not all that bad and I will get through it. If only I had thought about the people suffering from much harder and unbearable situations than the ones I was going through. I hope after reading this and watching the video, Ric Elias and I have made you think. I hope we have made even a little impact on your life. You only have one life… Make the best of it and live it to the fullest.