Think about your life. Try to pinpoint a moment that perhaps changed the direction in your life. One that you didn’t chose, but would be responsible for a turn of events. It doesn’t have to be just one, but a decisive change in your direction.
For me, my first unchosen life event would be rheumatic fever. That illness turned me from a confident, popular young girl into a shy, insecure adolescent who through high school would hide behind her books and writing skills, dreaming of a better life away from my hometown.
The second event that would definitely shape my career and life was being hired to host the children’s television program, Romper Room. That entry into television postponed my career path toward acting and provided me the ability to work while raising my children.
Such a life moment happened to Sharbat Gula who was 12 when photographer Steve McCurry captured his iconic image of her living in a refugee camp for Afghan nationals in Peshawar, Pakistan. Now in her 40s, Sharbat Gula — also known as Sharbat Bibi — was arrested in Peshawar for falsifying documents and staying illegally in Pakistan. She since has been asked by the President of Afghanistan to return and has been treated as a national hero. Because of that iconic photo, instead of being punished, she is being embraced by her country.
“In China, before cranking up the techno music at his 80th birthday party, the man known as “China’s hottest grandpa” paused from his D.J. duties to poke fun at the country’s staid traditional celebrations for the elderly.” according The New York Times. He is 80 years old and is as buff as a 40 year old.
Mr. Wang was born in the northeastern city of Shenyang in 1936, one of nine children of a cook and a stay-at-home mother. At 14, a year after the Communist Party came to power in 1949, he began working as a streetcar conductor.
By 49, Mr. Wang was eager to move to Beijing, China’s cultural capital. He wanted to be a “living sculpture.” He also needed money, so he began working out, determined to have a lithe body that would allow him to interact, almost naked and covered in metallic paint, with copies of Auguste Rodin’s and Camille Claudel’s sculptures of women. The idea, he said, came from his wife of 48 years, Zhao Aijuan. The rest is history.
One thing we can learn from these stories is that we must embrace moments of change no matter how early or late in life they come.
Copyright ©Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved.