Friday, November 13, 2009

Charla Nash, Chimpanzee Attack Victim, on "Oprah"

There's a lot of discussion over the decision of Charla Nash, the woman who was the victim of the horrific chimpanzee attack last February, to come forward on Oprah Winfrey's show a couple of days ago to tell her story and reveal herself. We think Charla is a remarkable woman and salute her fortitude in getting out there and giving people the opportunity to try to come to terms with their own prejudices and fears.

Was she exploited? I don't think so. I think people need to see. They don't have a right to see, but they need to. It will change the viewer. There is no way that you cannot experience empathy with this human being if you see and listen to her. If you're someone who doesn't...well, we know there are people like that out there without humanity and I hope I never meet up with one.

I have always felt that most folks have no idea how lucky they are; they don't realize that anything could befall them at any moment and change their life forever. Charla Nash didn't ask to undergo the terrible ordeal she's faced for the past nine months, but she's dealing with it, straight on.

In a television world which routinely celebrates the superficial, the impossibly beautiful, the very thin and overly trim, we need to remember that what makes a person isn't what's on the outside, it's the character within. This is something we probably all learned as children, but so many seem to have forgotten it. People like Charla remind of us of that.

I am posting the Oprah interview (it's in three parts) and I recommend that you watch and send your most heartfelt good thoughts to Charla. This could happen to any of us -- and I don't mean the specific circumstances of her attack, but something catastrophic -- and we can learn much from the determination of Charla Nash.

(The audio seems to be a little low so you might have to turn up your speakers.)

Note: Unfortunately the entire interview seems not to be available anymore, and only short reports about the show are still up. (Read this article about the disappearing clip issue.) This does a disservice to Charla and her story. It turns the show into nothing but the reveal of Charla's face, exactly the opposite of what the interview did -- taking the time to put everything into context and build compassion. However, in the absence of the complete interview, take a look at this:

We salute Charla Nash.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Utterly amazing, the resiliance of a human being. If anyone should be a candidate for a face transplant, it's this poor soul.