Professor’s Prologue by Dr. Jeffrey Perrin, assistant professor of psychology at Lesley. Nando Parrado will address Lesley University's Boston Speakers Series on April 24.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Only a small number of individuals have confronted the most severe and unqualifiedly desperate situations that stretch the limits of their psychological resolve. Hardly anyone has faced these situations while surviving starvation, severe dehydration, freezing temperatures, and an avalanche. Even fewer have endured all of this after falling from the sky into the rugged terrain of the world’s longest continental mountain range. Nando Parrado is one of those few individuals.
Parrado is a speaker, writer, successful businessman, television producer, and former race car driver. Most notably, Parrado is one of 16 survivors of flight 571, which crashed into the Andes Mountains on Friday, October 13, 1972. The crash killed 12 passengers instantly including several of Parrado’s rugby teammates, his sister, and his mother. Parrado awoke from the crash after three days of lying unconscious on the frozen floor of the splintered aircraft. What transpired over the next 72 days is one of the greatest survival stories ever told.
Over the past twenty years, Parrado has been one of the most sought after speakers on the international lecture circuit. His talks have received several accolades, and most recently, he was named “Best Speaker of the World” by World Business Forum (2010).
Parrado wrote “Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home,” a first-person account of the crash. He survived temperatures of 30 below zero with no food, shelter, or warm clothing, hiking through the harsh terrain in the Andes Mountains without climbing gear. His story has also been detailed in several documentary films including: “Alive: 20 years later, Return to the Andes,” and “I am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash.” Parrado was portrayed by Ethan Hawke in the 1993 feature film “Alive: Miracle in the Andes.”
Parrado’s survival tale began over 40 years ago. But that was merely the beginning of his journey. His exploration continues through sharing his story with audiences across the globe. Hopefully we will not face survival in the frozen wilderness ourselves, however, we can apply Parrado’s experience to our own hurdles and hardships. As Aristotle wrote, “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” Parrado demonstrates that when survival is coupled with contemplation, life’s greatest lessons can be uncovered.
Nando Parrado will address Lesley University's Boston Speakers Series on Wednesday, April 24, at 8 p.m. at Boston Symphony Hall. To see the full schedule of speakers and links to coverage of their talks, click here. To see the lineup for the 2013-2014 season, click here.
See the full speakers schedule and read coverage of the events.
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