Aug 5, 2020

7 min read

This Will Make You Cry! One of the Most Eye Opening Speeches

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.
It was a Friday night 2009, July 17.
We decided to go to the bar,
I was 23 now, so I was allowed to go to the bar legally
even though I wasn’t supposed to be there
Because three months prior to this I had just got a DUI.
So I had no license and I was on probation.
My buddies were all going to the bar and 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 consumed a 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 previous moved 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 was going to be my designated driver
She was the one that was supposed to 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 out to 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 have probably 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 out of Priscilla’s mouth.
I remember so clearly every vowel, every consonant articulated so precisely
and it was so clear as crystal clear as day.
Well, the next words I heard from Priscilla were simply this
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 person in the vehicle, me.
And that I hit the tree going anywhere 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 case of beer bottles that was behind her
catapulted forward at impact
and then a woman named Priscilla who didn’t have her seat belt on
catapulted forward at impact.
And that thing called the windshield in your car
and that case of beer bottles met 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 was alive, if she was dead, I had no idea
But I knew the paper said something that morning
and if she was alive, or if she passed away
the paper would probably say something the next morning.
The paper man shows up at like 4:00 a.m
He comes driving by everything slows down like a movie
He rolls the window and he throws the 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
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 to contact 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 family said, “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 though we don’t know you
but do us a favor, just try to make 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 characters and morals and values.
I’m gonna open up when wrong, I’m gonna be truthful
I’m gonna stand up for what I know is right and I won’t let anybody change me.
and maybe that’s not where you’re at right now,
but you can get there and these are the attributes of success man.
if you want something in life
you gotta be willing to do what nobody else has done.
If you keep doing the same thing 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 bad choices 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 of the opinions of anybody in this room.
Who cares what anybody thinks or says about you.
They are not your merit system, they are not your system of worth
You are who you say you are by your actions.
But the choice in the decisions that we make have consequences good or bad
And when I went to prison
at 23, listen, I came from a broken family
I had been labeled and 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 many mistakes 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 principles and I promise you man
They will change everything about who you are.
hard work works,
make good choices, good things happen
and value people
I decided ten years ago,
literally when this all happened and I went to prison
I wanted to be.. I was like, you know what I 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 importance of the choices that I make
and so literally I wrote the words “Change the world”
and I slapped it on my 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 choice that 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 front of 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 to look 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 it nobody can take it from you.”
Because hard work and tenacity and refusing to quit and chasing your dream
you’ll get there I promise you.
maybe you don’t hit the stars but you’ll land on the moon.
You just don’t give up and you go after it
and you stop caring about the opinions of people around you.
Stop blaming everybody 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.