We always take life for granted. And think we’re invincible. But a story I just read and a video I just watched put everything in a new perspective for me. I’m grateful for my life. The fact that I *knock on wood* haven’t been severely injured. And a loving family and friends by my side. Shelter and food. My own car to get around in. Etc. Etc. The story made me realize that I have it good (well?) for the most part. Much more than a lot of other people in the world. I will try more to appreciate the little things and complain a lot less. Here’s the story paraphrased by what I read:

Meet Madeline Mitchell. She was a contestant for the Miss Alabama USA pageant but going home one day in September 2008 changed everything. She hit a deer and lost control of her car causing her to go off a 40 foot ravine while the car caught on fire.

She wouldn’t have been alive today if it wasn’t for the Walmart truck driver, Gary Lewellen. He went in to put the fire out and reassured her she would be okay. And sure enough, she was air-lifted to the University of Alabama hospital.

For 12 days, she was stuck in a coma while her parents watched over her. When she woke up, her question was “Am I going to be able to compete in the pageant?

Doctors told her she may never walk again since her leg was broken in 12 places, broken ribs, etc. And people told her should would never be able to compete again due to her many scars.

But she proved them wrong. After months of struggling, she indeed walked again and participated in 2009 Miss Alabama USA pageant but failed to make top 10. She didn’t let that stop her and continued to participate last year and won.

This Sunday she will be competing in the Miss USA at the Miss USA 2011 pageant in Las Vegas. Go here for a more in-depth story and a heartwarming, tear-jerking video of her interview.

I know a lot of people think beauty pageant contestants are jerks, high maintanence, rich snobs, etc. etct. but after watching this I realized they are just like us. Real people. And they are not invincible … no matter how put together they are. I’m not going to lie. I always wished I was in a beauty pageant because they are so pretty!

Take time out of your day to appreciate everything you have.