The Best Thing I Learned From a TED Talk

I watched an incredibly interesting TED talk recently that had me pondering for days about life, motherhood and eternity.


It was by a man who was on flight 1549, the plane that crashed in the hudson river back in 2009 (all passengers and crew members survived, by the way, in case you didn’t know). If you’ve never heard this story, I’d encourage you to look it up. It’s crazy!

Ric Elias, a survivor of the crash, re-tells the moments in the plane when he realized that they were going down. He said that, as he sat there for 5 minutes thinking for sure that he was about to die, there were two things that he thought about:

1. “I thought about how much time I wasted doing things that don’t matter with people that matter.”

This hit me like a ton of bricks. I always tell my husband how badly I want to delete my Facebook… How much I want to quit mindless internet surfing and youtube watching…  How important it is for me to start doing things that mean something to me, in the truest sense of the word; things like helping people, loving the poor, the needy, the marginalized.

I realize how many moments go by that I am truly wasting doing things that, not only mean nothing to me, but don’t even bring me joy.

Why spend hours on Facebook when I would rather read a novel? Why waste time peroozing my phone while Josh is trying to play with me? Why do I mindlessly cruise the internet looking at nothing, when I could be spending time with friends & family?

I realized what an incredible disparity there is between what we say is important to us and how we actually use our time.

The second thing he said was similar, and really resonated with me as a parent:

2. “I thought about how, above all, the most important thing in my life is that I am a good father to my children.”


I think all parents can relate to this.

He went on to describe how it felt going to his 6-year old’s art show about a month after the crash and how he just wept over her and her drawings (“even though they weren’t very good”, he says). He knew how precious each moment is.

I pray and hope that I can start actually doing things that matter to me and STOP doing things that don’t matter.


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