Words of wisdom from Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart survived kidnapping and months of physical abuse when she was taken from her home in Salt Lake City in 2002. She was only 14.

Now 10 years later, she is married and she has started a foundation that is devoted to helping young people avoid or recover from violence.

During a recent visit to Dallas, she talked to The Dallas Morning News (the April 20, 2012, issue) and shared the advice her mother gave her the morning she returned home after the kidnapping.

 Her mom said: “Elizabeth, what this man has done to you, he’s taken nine months of your life that you won’t get back. But don’t give him another minute. The best punishment that you can give him is to be happy.”

Smart also told Christina Rosales, the newspaper reporter, what she has learned from her journey.

“There is nothing that someone can’t handle,” she said. “We all have something hard to deal with: deaths, abuse, even something like a paper cut. But we make the choice about what we’re going to do with those experiences. Are those going to ruin our lives, or our day? Or will we rise above it? I’m going to seek help and get better and live a wonderful life.”

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