An eye opening Most Inspirational speech.
At 23, I was responsible for taking her life. Never did I think when I was in the fifth,sixth, seventh, eighth grade that.. at 23 I would be responsiblefor, for taking the life of somebody. It was a Friday night 2009, July 17.
We decided to go to the bar, I was 23 now, so I was allowedto go to the bar legally even though I wasn't supposed to be there Because three months priorto this I had just got a DUI. So I had no license and I was on probation. My buddies were all going to the barand they said "Nathan, are you driving?" and I said, "Oh, no, absolutely not" "I don't have a license. I'm on probation.I'm not even supposed to be doing it." So I had drank and consumeda half of fifth of whiskey and 13 shots of tequila.I was drunk a girl named Priscilla Owens who had just moved from Alabama, She had three weeks previousmoved up to Indiana to Marion. She was from there when she was a kid,she was a little older than all of us Priscilla shows up and she wasgoing to be my designated driver She was the one that was supposedto take me to start the fire.
She comes to get me, My friend Mike says,"Nathan, you're not driving right?" I said, "Oh no, man, I'm drunk." "I'm not driving, she is,she's my designated driver. We got this. We're going outto TJ's and we're starting the fire I'll see you in a little bit." cool,we shook up and we're out the door. But in the process of leaving that bar to getting to the car there's one question that I'm never gonna haveprobably ever have answered and I can't quite put my finger on it, but somehow when I left that bar Priscilla gave me her keys I remember these next few moments. I remember the atmosphere.
I remember what was being said. I remember everything, every part of it I remember the shorts that I had on. I remember more clearly than anything the next words I heard outof Priscilla's mouth. I remember so clearly every vowel,every consonant articulated so precisely and it was so clear as crystalclear as day. Well, the next words I heardfrom Priscilla were simply this "Tree" And I woke up in a hospital bed. paramedics report, it said this It said when they arrived on the scene that there was only one personin the vehicle, me. And that I hit the tree goinganywhere from 60 to 62 miles an hour.
There was no brakes,I didn't even try to stop. And when I hit that tree that caseof beer bottles that was behind her catapulted forward at impact and then a woman named Priscillawho didn't have her seat belt on catapulted forward at impact. And that thing calledthe windshield in your car and that case of beer bottlesmet with Priscilla in between And she slid down to the floorboard and her neck rested on the middle console So I stayed up all night that night, you know what the paper had read"Two lifeline in a serious accident taken apart to the hospital." Nobody would tell me if she wasalive, if she was dead, I had no idea But I knew the papersaid something that morning and if she was alive, or if she passed away the paper would probably saysomething the next morning.
The paper man shows up at like 4:00 a.m He comes driving byeverything slows down like a movie He rolls the window and he throwsthe paper and it hits Boom I jump up, grab it,I rip open the rubber band. I roll it open, and there's the headline Crash Victim Dies At 23, I was responsible for taking her life. Never did I think when I was in the fifth,sixth, seventh, eighth grade that.. At 23 I would be responsible for,for taking the life of somebody. What happened though is the family wanted me tocontact them right after that and I called and what do you say to that? You know, what do you say?I'm sorry. but I called and the familysaid, "Nathan, listen.. Priscilla was sober, it was her vehicle,we can't put all the blame on you" which I didn't agree with,I was solely to blame, I was the driver. I don't care how drunk I was.It was my fault But they said, "listen.. There's no reason for two families to be destroyed. We want you to know that we.. We love you, even though we don't know you we forgive you even thoughwe don't know you but do us a favor, just try tomake the world a better place.
Try to- don't let Priscilla die for nothing just make a difference. With what I do, my life speaks louder than words because when I begin to change my life I'm gonna learn to make good choices,I'm gonna learn be responsible. I'm gonna be dedicated I'm gonna have good charactersand morals and values. I'm gonna open up when wrong,I'm gonna be truthful I'm gonna stand up for what I know isright and I won't let anybody change me. and maybe that's notwhere you're at right now, but you can get there and theseare the attributes of success man. if you want something in life you gotta be willing to dowhat nobody else has done. If you keep doing the samething you've always done it's the, it's the definition of insanity. if you want to change you're gonna have to be willing to change. Good choices will always have good results and I was making a lot of badchoices and a lot of bad decisions.
And I was basing my value,my worth off your opinions and I've learned something, listen to me everybody in here,I want you to understand something. Your value is never based on any ofthe opinions of anybody in this room. Who cares what anybodythinks or says about you. They are not your merit system,they are not your system of worth You are who you sayyou are by your actions. But the choice in the decisions thatwe make have consequences good or bad And when I went to prison at 23, listen, I came from a broken family I had been labeledand marked and identified I had battled hurts and pains and wounds I had suicidal thoughts and I had battled self harming,drugs and alcohol consumed me I had lost all dreams and goals.
I felt like I had made too manymistakes to change, listen.. I felt like what .. I had every reason to say, "You know what,life is too tough, and I quit." I live with these three principlesand I promise you man They will change everythingabout who you are. hard work works, make good choices,good things happen and value people I decided ten years ago, literally when this all happenedand I went to prison I wanted to be.. I was like, you know whatI want to make this promise I want to keep it to this family,I come from a lot of brokenness I don't know where to start but what I do know is the importanceof the choices that I make and so literally I wrotethe words "Change the world" and I slapped it onmy little prison cell window and every single day I woke up and I realized.. Make good choices, great things happen. aim small miss small. Make good choices, great things happen.
You see every choicethat I can make listen, I can't control what you think about me. I can't control your opinion of me. I can't control what you say about me. But I control how I react,respond and what I do with my life, I'm in control of my life I don't let external factors control me. I'm in control of my life. Because sometimes life can be tough Life can be challenging And sometimes the opticals in frontof you seem like they're too big and it's easier just to lay down,but you know what I remember I remember when my dad used tolook at me when I was a kid and said "listen Nathan,life is never gonna give you anything, but if you make it, if you build itnobody can take it from you." Because hard work and tenacity andrefusing to quit and chasing your dream you'll get there I promise you. maybe you don't hit the stars butyou'll land on the moon. You just don't give upand you go after it and you stop caring aboutthe opinions of people around you. Stop blamingeverybody for your hurts.
Take ownership of your life.Take off your mask Don't feed the bear, make good choices be a best friend, encourage somebody be a voice of hope and inspiration This is your moment.