The following is the full transcript of kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart’s TEDx Talk: My Story at TEDxUniversityofNevada conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Elizabeth Smart – American child safety activist
I don’t know anyone who has a perfect life. Nobody. And I know that every single one of us have our own personal challenges and trials and there are days when we wish that we didn’t have to get out of bed. There are days when we just wish we could pull the covers back up and hibernate.
But we all have a choice to make. We have the choice to stay in bed and keep the covers pulled over us, or we have a choice to move forward.
When I was 14 years old, nothing special stood out about me. I was just average fourteen year old getting ready to graduate from junior high, very excited. I remember going to bed one night in a room that I shared with my sister, in a bed that I shared with my sister. I remember waking up to the voice – a strange voice saying, “I have a knife at your neck. Don’t make a sound. Get up and come with me”. That started a nine-month long nightmare.
I remember this strange man taking me way up into the mountains behind my home, all that while at knifepoint. I mean, I remember being brought so far up into the mountains, we crossed right over the top of the mountain and started down the other side.