TED Conversations

Rodrigo P. Feliciano

Knights of Columbus

TEDCRED 20+

This conversation is closed.

What one event set the direction of your life that made you who you are today?

“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/life-changing-events

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Closing Statement from Rodrigo P. Feliciano

Significant events in our lives are as varied and as unique as everyone of us:

- That would be the Big Bang. Everything else is subsidiary to that one.
- My significant event is my Life ...
- ...the most life changing event was when I submitted myself to a mental hospital after a suicide attempt.
- My birth set the direction of my life experiences
- At the age of nine, I had a spiritual experience while meditating on the word God
- My life changed the moment I realized I had done things in my life that the most famous people prior to the 20th century would dare to dream. Common things like driving a car, talking on the phone, watching TV.
- If your question is about a movie that set the direction of my life, I would say it is The Pursuit of Happiness. Yes ,it is a Will Smith movie. Which demonstrates the limitless possibility of someone who is determined to do something.
- I enrolled the next day ( how did he know they were enrolling for classes) and never looked back. When I finished my B.S in Electrical Engineering at Washington University, I wanted to call and thank him. I was never able to find him. I am so glad Jack was willing to give me the "tough love" I needed and will always be thankful to him.
- I would say there have been many events that set the direction of who I am today.
- It was a TED Talk, actually. Which is why I've made an account.
- The moment when I married.
- My father got deployed. The direction my life was going before was dramatically altered after.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS!


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    Apr 6 2014: My significant event is my Life, which began over six decades ago, and it is still playing out, day by day, breath by breath, heartbeat by heartbeat...

    Yes, significant things keep happening along the way, some more significant than others, but there have been no dramatic "sub-events" that changed the course of my Life. Everything feels to me to be part of a grand flow, such that everything is integrating and contributing to who I am constantly becoming. New experiences bring new awareness, new knowledge, new understanding and new wisdom, and they constantly open the way to further new experiences and continual expansion. Life keeps becoming richer and fuller. Based on past experience I have every reason to assume this pattern will continue until I take my last breath and my heart beats its last beat. Whenever that comes to pass, my Life event here on Earth will be over. Then I will learn if there is something for me to experience beyond that, or not.
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      Apr 7 2014: "We homeschooled our daughter and I also helped school our grandson at home for a couple of years. (He is currently in a project-based learning Charter School.)"

      Mr. Karasti, imagine Bill Gates and/or the President giving you all the resources you need to open a K-8 school. How would you go about it? Describe the kind of school you would open.
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        Apr 7 2014: Well, for one thing, Rodrigo, I would need not only all the resources necessary to /open/ a K-8 school, I would also need the resources to /continue to operate it/. For purposes of fulfilling your request, I'd have to assume I have all those resources.

        I'm not sure, however, that this fits under the topic of this conversation: "What one event set the direction of your life that made you who you are today?" Perhaps you might want to start a separate conversation regarding what an ideal educational system might look like so I and others could contribute our thoughts under that topic? But why limit it to K-8? Why not K-12 while we're at it?
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    Apr 4 2014: It's so hard to pinpoint an exact event. I guess the most life changing event was when I submitted myself to a mental hospital after a suicide attempt. If I had not had the presence of mind to do that, I believe I would be dead. It's only been a year since then but my change has been swift and astounding.
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    Apr 7 2014: Hi Rodrigo:>)
    My birth set the direction of my life experiences, which have all contributed to who I am today.

    I agree with Hans and Carl.....life is a continual flow of events....a labyrinth of turning corners every day....every moment.....some of which we have control of, and some.....not so much. What we DO have control of however, is HOW we follow the paths of this human experience, and HOW we use the information that we gather throughout the life experience, with awareness, mindfulness and curiosity.

    For me, life is an exploration....a "grand flow" as Carl says, which contributes to the opportunity to learn, grow and evolve as individuals, while contributing to the whole. There are certainly times that stand out as ah-ha moments in my life and near death, and all events are interconnected, in my perception and experience.

    I will continue to explore with curiosity until I take my last breath in this earth school:>)
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      Apr 7 2014: do you think "school" is a good metaphor for life? I usually have the notion that you go to school to prepare for something after school. But personally I don't think there is anything after life, thus I don't think we're preparing for anything after life.
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        Apr 7 2014: I like to use "school" as a metaphor for life Greg, because within the definition of school, we have... "provides instruction"..."pursuing knowledge together"..."the process of teaching or learning"..."a source of knowledge"...

        While "school" is generally thought of as an institution of learning, in my perception, there is no greater "schooling" than wholeheartedly being engaged in the life experience with curiosity.

        In my perception, each "lesson" of the earth school experience, is preparing me for the next adventure in the life experience. If something happens after that....so be it. While I am HERE.....NOW.....I love the learning:>)

        I also understand when/if people have different perceptions:>)
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      Apr 7 2014: At the end of the day, what matters is the number of smiles you gave and the number of hearts you've touched ...

      We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T. S. Eliot

      Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tseliot109032.html#KR8m3z7zTvLQ0ys3.99
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        Apr 7 2014: Good quote Rodrigo, and it reminds me of this....

        SUCCESS

        To laugh often and much
        to win the respect of intelligent people
        and affection of children; to earn the
        appreciation of honest critics and
        endure the betrayal of false friends;
        to appreciate beauty, to find the best
        in others; to leave the world a bit
        better, whether by a healthy child
        a garden patch or redeemed
        social condition; to know even
        one life has breathed easier because
        you have lived. This is to have
        succeeded.


        -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    Apr 7 2014: At the age of nine, I had a spiritual experience while meditating on the word God. It would forever change my view of what the word meant. The church and my secular school teachers were incapable of helping me understand what I had experienced. Eleven years later, I would find myself in a nuclear physics class, and what I had experienced eleven years earlier would now come with an explanation. It was the quantum world, the foundation upon which all natural laws, forces, processes, and structures would depend.

    Murphy once said "an easily understood, workable falsehood has more value than an incomprehensible truth". What God is, is an incomprehensible truth. It is the power that drives the sub-atomic world. It is everywhere, it is invisible, it is the alpha and the omega. On the other hand, all human conceptions of God are easily understood, workable falsehoods.

    I have followed the spirit within me and have found the greatest of help. It has molded my thinking from that day forward. I have played the cards that I have been dealt in this life. But I am always aware that I am not the dealer.
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      Apr 7 2014: Thank you for sharing, Roy. I specially like the awareness that we, humans, are the players, not the dealer.
    • Apr 11 2014: I have a similar experience, except that my awakening came at age 34. Amazing
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        Apr 11 2014: Do you find it hard to locate others that you can tell your story to without being ridiculed? I went through that process for years. I still find it hard to find people that I can communicate with that have any clue as to what I am talking about. Yet the experiences I have had are truly amazing.
        • Apr 12 2014: Most people do not want to hear (yet). I feel very isolated (though obviously NOT lonely). I don't worry about the subtle or overt messages of incredulity.that I receive.

          To keep me sane, I am writing a book. Part I is the truth about early American history (where America went off track and why), which is very different from the lies that we were told during mandatory public schooling (and I also give the documentary history of that). Part II is an invitation for people to begin thinking for themselves about issues that our Supreme Court faces -- where they have the opportunity to see that if they think for themselves, they are far smarter than they think they are. It also brings more of our insane history to light.

          Part III goes into quantum mechanics and mental processes (science of mind) that people don't know about because they were indoctrinated to experience fear of those with different ideas. I am hoping that by the time they reach Part III, they are ready to open their minds to the amazing realization that we are gods, and we can use energy to manifest our wants. We don't need money. We are powerful beings in our own right, and we can prove it to ourselves.

          I know more like me (and you) exist. I have talked to them on-line, and one or two (in a long lifetime) in person. We are a growing number globallly, and if the Internet remains open and free, and more people explore these amazing ideas, they cannot help but find the obvious. It's so beautiful, rational, and freeing, who would want to turn away from that awareness (and knowledge)?
      • Apr 12 2014: "that we are gods, and we can use energy to manifest our wants. We don't need money. We are powerful beings in our own right, and we can prove it to ourselves."

        I completely agree with this statement. And if suppose I say that I am God , then the intolerant religious contractors will run after you to kill you saying that how come you be God.

        The problem with the human beings is that they cannot withstand that anyone can find God within.

        The society across the globe restricts each and every individual to raise its level to the level of the Spiritually Enlightened People based on whom the religions were founded.

        If the society would not have restricted to raise up each and every individual to that level then Heaven would have come down to earth.
  • Apr 4 2014: My life changed the moment I realized I had done things in my life that the most famous people prior to the 20th century would dare to dream. Common things like driving a car, talking on the phone, watching TV. That revelation is even truer today as I can almost literally hold the world in the palm of my hand with a smart phone.
    In the context of human history, I am alive in a climactic unprecedented moment. And I share this moment with everyone else alive. The questions that became my passion in that life changing moment, what is going on here and what does it mean?
  • Apr 3 2014: Without a doubt it was my birth but more accurately,
    prior to that there was a "voice of some kind" that told me to go "down there",
    meaning the planet called earth, that I was looking at.
    I responded that I did not want to.
    The "voice" urged me to, communicating that it was only for a short time.

    I wished I had never listened or followed that suggestion.
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    Apr 12 2014: If your question is about a movie that set the direction of my life,I would say it is The Pursuit of Happiness. Yes ,it is a Will Smith movie. Which demonstrates the limitless possibility of someone who is determined to do something.

    It emboldens me every single day,that so long as I work hard,there will be a way out of current struggle.
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    Apr 11 2014: I was working the night shift as a maintenance supervisor for a large bakery. Every day when I arrived I would chat with
    Jack, the purchasing manager. I would talk about what I would do when I went back to school.

    One day, when I started talking about school, he cut me off. He said he was getting tired of me talking and asked when I would do something. I answered "soon" and he replied " how about tomorrow?".

    I enrolled the next day ( how did he know they were enrolling for classes) and never looked back. When I finished my B.S in Electrical Engineering at Washington University, I wanted to call and thank him. I was never able to find him.

    I am so glad Jack was willing to give me the "tough love" I needed and will always be thankful to him.
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      Apr 11 2014: Tim, the best way to thank Jack is to give others the same "tough love". My story is almost the same as yours. I started my college education when I was twenty-five and I graduated, B.S. Industrial Engineering, at age thirty. I attended B school after that. I owe my education to my mother, grandmother, my teachers, and two other great persons who believed in me.
  • Gail G3

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    Apr 7 2014: April 24, 1984. My worldview crashed. There was no putting it back together again. It was full of lies I was taught that turned out to be erroneous assumptions. I wanted to know what a sustainable science based worldview would look like. It took years of self-education, but I love the person I am now and am so glad that the old world failed me. Had I not opened my mind to other possibilities, I would have wasted this life.
  • Apr 7 2014: Just one event ... ??? I would say there have been many events that set the direction of who I am today. Life is a labyrinth with turning corners every day. Some choses which you have control over and some that you do not, some choses that you can make undone and some that can not, some that will be obvious where it would take you and some that is unclear. So who am I? I guess I am the sum of all turning corners I ever encountered, or at least that where I am.
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      Apr 7 2014: Final Curve

      When you turn the corner
      And you run into yourself
      Then you know that you have turned
      All the corners that are left. Langston Hughes
  • Apr 7 2014: Rodrigo,

    There are so many events, both major and minor, which made me what I am today. It could be as simple as turning left instead of turning right, staying and taking a later flight, or just deciding to go to bar or not and going to the library.

    It could be large like marriage, being in a riot, being in a war, seeing my children being born - all change you and the direction you take.
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      Apr 7 2014: Mr. Kelly, if you don't mind telling us more about your interesting NDE and the true spiritual path you've taken since then.
  • Apr 6 2014: The day my Mother died. Being raised by a single parent, living as an only child, my mother was my family. Her ideas shaped and form my existence. Although she did the best she could I lived my life trying to fulfill her dreams for my life instead of my own. I miss that woman painfully. But, I am now free enough to live my life and open my mind to the things that she was unable to in order to make my life a living legacy for my children and the universe. I am excited to learn daily about who I am and that I have no limits on life and how I live it. I can be me wholly without the scrutiny of her desires, thoughts, passions and destiny. At 44 I began to live in my own destiny created for me by my spirit. This is a double edged sword or the bitter sweet
  • Apr 5 2014: June 6, 1980, I met my future wife.
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    Apr 5 2014: It was a TED Talk, actually. Which is why I've made an account.
    It was 2 years ago, when I was feeling pretty terrible about my entire existence, that I watched Sarah Kay's Talk- If I should have a daughter. I think it was all of the emotion and beauty she managed to tie into a poem merely consisting of words and her voice. I really got into Spoken Word, and about a year later I also got very much into TED. I had a new perspective in which I marveled at life and education. I raised my (pretty terrible) grades, and began anew.
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      Apr 5 2014: You just made TED people very happy, Charlie!

      TED makes us realize that there are still many people out there who care!
  • Apr 3 2014: That would be the Big Bang. Everything else is subsidiary to that one.
  • Apr 3 2014: I had to think about that for a few minutes and this is what I came up with. NO, I learned to say NO
    I learned that closing doors did not mean I had less, it allowed many more doors a chance to open up for me.
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      Apr 3 2014: Most of our lives we were conditioned, especially by media, to say yes. Looking back, many of my best decisions where when I said no. It's good to say yes when it's for the common good but, even better when we say no because it will give us more choices and produce better results in the long run.

      Thanks, Keith.
    • Apr 6 2014: Wow! I love that. As I have closed a door to open up another I have struggled with that idea which had left me to wonder if I had made a mistake. You know what I did the RIGHT THING. Thank you for your perspective
      • Apr 6 2014: Saying No is a wonderful exercise, sometimes I just say no to everything for awhile just to get in practice. It really shocks people and forces them to think (a good thing) when you say no and remember "no" is a complete sentence. No explanation is necessary.
        The time to think and wonder is before you make a decision. It is like worrying about a fart, you can hang around to see how it smells, but my advise is to keep moving and don't look back.
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    JB E

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    Apr 15 2014: I can think of many events that I shouldn't have survived, and they all have led to one outcome that was the culmination of my whole life, so I'll list them in order. First was when I was 16 yo and a heavy drug user in highschool, I had boughten a illegal handgun and was carrying it around everywhere I went. I had been screwing around with it one sunday afternoon and I had put it to my own head and pulled the trigger as a sort of test of my own craziness, no sooner did I do that that I jammed the clip in it and it went off and shot my TV. A round was in it that didn't seem to go off befor.

    Next significant event was when I was confronted by a bully in school and i had the same gun pointed at him in my pocket ready to shoot him. For whatever reason, my parents voices in my head, cowardice, whatever, I choose not to kill him.

    The next event was when I choose to jump my parents jeep wrangler at 65 mph resulting in a horrific rollover crash that nearly killed my friend. I survived with head injuries but my friend had shattered his femur. The significance of this wasn't the crash or that we survived but the police went threw the accident and recovered that handgun. I was charged and did my punishment but at least that gun was taken from me so I couldn't hurt myself or anyone else.

    The next most significant event was getting busted with drugs and being forced to go inpatient drug rehab at age 19. I was detoxed and then in patient for 30 days where I got psychological assessments and counseling. I remained sober for the rest of my life up to this day at age 43.

    The last most significant events in my life were when my daughters were born, one 3 years apart from the other. Although much has happened in my life since mostly unfortunate, like a near death experience from a brain tumor and significant medical issues from the resulting treatments and brain surgeries, and my nasty divorce, my lifes culmination remains my daughters, it seems they were meant to be.
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    Apr 12 2014: i was travelling through namibia hoping to travel africa along the west coast.... i arrived late at night in windhoek the capital and needed a place to sleep. i went to a catholic church to ask if i could sleep overnight on the property... i many ways they defended and justified their faith of unkindness and not caring... needless to say i was surprised and would never had thought the church would turn it's back on people....
  • Apr 11 2014: April 24, 1984: My worldview CRASHED. All that I learned about how the world works was suddenly recognized as a complete lie.

    When a worldview crashes, one is basically internally paralized. Things like right/wrong lose their foundation. I realized that I was functionally uneducated, in spite of my education, so I started learning. Learning became my hobby. Now, with a better understanding of how the world works (because it is science/logic based), life is so much better. Clinical depression lifted about 20 years ago. I am truly a different person.
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    Apr 8 2014: being alone as a kid with only nature and books as companions. Nature in all its aspects attracts me as if a stoic family member that welcomed me and educated me whatever the event. And piles of books that promised me anything was and is possible.
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    Apr 5 2014: Finding a cipher in pi with only 13 decimals places...

    0112358
    3456__G7
    __9___9
    ___5___

    The G is the Golden ration flipped 01.61803 - 30819.10

    0_____8
    3_____10
    ______9

    And the fourth row is a single 5 with three spaces on each side. I figured this is the okay symbol on both hands where the circle overlapses each other. Since there is know math here except for the Fibonacci Sequence on the top row who cares...

    Additionally if you put the OK symbols over each EYE and connect the middle fingers of each hand I say this is the all seeing EYE and we are left with two extra fingers on each hand which is obviously xyz & Time which makes the middle fingers the fifth dimension...

    It is really all about pattern recognition is it. Simple right hand OKAY is a d3 or 3 - Dimension that we think we have control over and the left OKAY is 3b or Eb or BE and we can be apart of anything we put our mind to. Simple math that defines our reality is literally defined by the palm of your hands so HAVE FUN.....

    40sec to define my reality (video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qADLSh3wJY
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      Apr 5 2014: I know some math, but I didn't know about your contribution, Joshua. Thank you.
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        Apr 5 2014: Just coloring outside the box.... A LOT...

        Life is to short to dwell on the past is all I was trying to convey. If it is not about having fun with one another life is literally about pain in the side...

        So the only moment that I see as life changing is right now... Because I have no power over the past or future which is a lie because their are so many interpretation for any given situation that so many now moments are wasted in the time I could have told a joke to lighten the mood. What I do does not truly matter to someone else except to use my memories as a stepping stone to make other peoples now a little bit better.

        Again I can accomplish that with a joke or action to show I CARE about others. I am sorry if my contribution did not meet your expectation. We have never met and I do not know your style so HELLO my name is JOSH and I will try to keep you on your toes in the moment of NOW...

        PEACE...
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          Apr 5 2014: One of the things I plan to do is paint in non-objective style or abstract painting or painting outside the box. Cheers, Joshua.
        • Apr 6 2014: I so admire your mathematical equation. I grew up so afraid of math yet I know that math is life. Nonetheless your expression is beautiful and I thank you
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        Apr 6 2014: To the final comment painting outside a box...

        What is a box? All I know is circles...

        Good Day and GOOD LUCK

        Esteban Trevino YOU ARE THE MAN!!! You totally get something I am busting a gut so hard RIGHT NOW!!! I think you understand I know nothing and am just messing around that is all we have in life. I will never reminisce when I can make a new memory or lets agree a NOW MOMENT. If I can give you ten thumbs up I would your the man So this next song is for you:

        Aloe Blacc - "The Man" = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGy9i8vvCxk
        • Apr 12 2014: Joshua,

          have you gone throughout he point-line-square-cube process and gotten to know a sphere who happens to be a point and a circle and a sphere and a bit more and who knows them square heads stubble with smooth ways?

          BTW a box is flat container rather than a curved space… from watching one of your videos I think you understand how a point and a sphere are the same and quite different depending on the scale one choose to employ. You mentioned xyz-time though if all you know is circles you ought had mentioned vectored angles with radios and times … of course this will only be temporarily available hope you get to see it… let me know when you do see it…through this medium ...
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        Apr 6 2014: Lartharie Morgan-King

        Additionally, If numbers are not your thing lets apply some letters...

        A = 1
        B = 2
        C = 3
        D = 4
        E = 5
        F = 6
        G = 7
        H = 8
        O = 0
        O = G

        0 is off and represents one EYE
        G is Good and represents other EYE

        0_____8
        34____G7
        __9___9
        ___5___

        Letter instead of numbers...

        O_____H
        CD____OG
        __I___I
        ___e___

        ie is "that is" or "Industrial Engineer" - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/i.e.

        So we have

        OH "that is" GOD I C...

        Additionally the fourth row is three spaces LEFT then a 5 then three spaces RIGHT this is two okay symbols on each hand. Now place the circles over each EYE and connect the middle finger. This is the all seeing EYE on the back of the $1 which leaves us with 2 ring fingers and 2 pinky fingers.

        The 5 is represented with the E on both hands and states that Everyone can join/play...

        4 remainding fingers is XYZ & Time and the pyramid or A formed by the middle fingers is the 5th dimension which is very real for the people in the KNOW...

        The LEFT hand is a 3. or 3b or Eb and the RIGHT is a d3 or 3 - dimensional understanding or A dE that represents your Destiny. NOW you have a choice to bE Apart of destiny or continue on your own 3 - dimensional reality you choose is real either way may Peace Love and Harmony reign supreme on your journey in this life.

        Remember life is just a game so have fun with it...

        Joshua Sisk OUT...
        PEACE & Good Luck...

        Music with some truths:
        Lorde - "Royals" = https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=nlcIKh6sBtc#t=80

        Avicii - "Wake Me Up" = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcrbM1l_BoI

        Anna Kendrick - "Cups" = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmSbXsFE3l8
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    Apr 4 2014: Anybody who has gone through a life-changing experience will tell you there is a different understanding of what is real and what is important, and when you are going through different moments, you can reflect and go, 'I have been through worse.' Delta Goodrem

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/deltagoodr427689.html#XORWJkst0ezqG0oW.99
  • Apr 4 2014: The moment when I married. I was finished my undegradute when I was 20, and I married. After married my husband got phd. in American University and we moved USA. My husband and I was planning to continue my study, but I got pregnant. Now my daughter is almost 3 yrs. and I am still waiting to continue my education. I could keep her in day care or in any place, but I think there is no better care from others than mom. Hope I will get my dream soon...;(
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    Apr 4 2014: 9/11

    My father got deployed. The direction my life was going before was dramatically altered after.
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      Apr 4 2014: A Fleeting thought at Action Stations

      A radiant smile greets my gaze
      through the early morning haze.
      Eyes blink, first one, then two
      as I catch a glimpse of you.
      Your face I’ve seen oft times before
      Sometimes in slumber, or from the door
      of a dimly lit cabin with cluttered floor.
      Boots lie waiting, laces undone,
      Coveralls poised for the morning run.
      I turn to look and whisper goodbye.
      Is that a tear I see in your eye?
      Excitement passes and heartbeats slow
      and slowly adrenaline ceases to flow
      A look of calm and relief I see
      as once again you smile at me.

      G D Disley, 20 January 1991

      http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/Poems%20by%20soldiers.html