Update 9/10/08: It was announced today that Elizabeth Smart would appear on the Oprah show to talk about her kidnapping experience.
Originally posted on 6/12/08: I was at the grocery store awhile ago, and the current People magazine caught my eye. On the cover was a photo of Elizabeth Smart I don’t buy magazines off the stand very often, but I bought that magazine. Later, as I read the story, I was struck first by how mature and poised she is, and then by how beautiful she is.
Some quotes from Elizabeth Smart:
“I always knew that no matter what, I’d still be part of my family. They could change my name, change the way I look, starve me to death. But they couldn’t change that I am Ed and Lois Smart’s daughter. That was a very powerful thing to me.”
“It’s just not worth holding on to that kind of hate. It can ruin your life. Nine months of my life had been taken from me, and I wasn’t going to give them any more of my time.”
“Before, I was just your average Mormon girl. And since everything I’ve gone through, there’s been a lot of learning and growing. I’ve learned to listen and not jump to conclusions. I’m not sorry this happened to me anymore, because it made me grow up.”
“It is important to remember that just because something bad happens to you, it doesn’t mean you are bad. You are still entitled to every possible happiness in life.”
What impressed me most about Elizabeth Smart is that she has refused to be a “victim.” The first night she was home after her abduction, she insisted on sleeping in her own bed - the bed from which she had been abducted nine months earlier. She proved to others - and herself - that she would still be there in the morning. Many people would let that horrific experience scar them for life. They might move to get away from the bad memories and associations. Instead, Elizabeth has learned from it and resolved to make her life better. She has taken charge of her own life and has refused to let that experience define who she is. She is a brave and impressive young woman.