When this video started I quickly labeled Leila Hurst as “cool” and “popular” and “happy.” I saw a gorgeous, blond, teen surfer who was getting lots of money and fame for doing what she loved. What could be better?
As the video went on I saw her close relationship with her sister who has spinal bifida, and how strong the bond of siblings can be if we don’t let our struggles or resentment get in the way.
Then I listened more closely to what Leila was saying. This is what I heard:
“When I started going forward in my surfing and making money I felt really guilty.”
“It’s really hard to live with that [guilt]. I don’t want to tell her that I won because she can never do that. I want her to be able to share all this great stuff that’s getting handed to me. It’s hard for me to go forward in life and not bring her with me.”
“Anything I can do to get my sister involved is the best feeling ever.”
“[Surfing together] was a better feeling than anything I’ve ever experienced in surfing.”
What she’s saying is that the fame and success isn’t all that it appears to be when what she cares about the most is including her sister in every part of her life.
The disabled certainly don’t deserve the labels we put on them that say “broken” and “not good enough”. But what about the “happy” or “has it all“ labels that we put on the popular girl?
The theme of Leila’s words are that she’s doesn’t have it all just because of her fame or how much money she makes. She’s saying that those things aren’t what define happiness. Happiness is in loving others. It’s in sharing your joys and sorrows and using your talents to serve other people. That’s what true success is.
And that’s what I heard Leila Hurst saying.
(This video is a part of Van’s “Pass the Bucket” Video Series, one of which was included on our Video Support 15 DVD)