Last month, Gal Gadot was flying with her family when the plane’s captain approached her and introduced himself. Which, one would imagine, is the sort of thing that happens all the time when one is Gal Gadot. But this time was different. The captain, Ofer Aloni, wasn’t there for a selfie or an autograph; he wanted to tell Gadot a story.
In 2004, his daughter, Zohar, 24, flew to Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, with her boyfriend. Then, the tsunami hit, and Zohar went missing. Aloni flew to Thailand to search for her, only to receive the unbearable news that she had perished in the disaster.
Heartbroken, he was ready for his life to end. But then, as he told Gadot, he looked up at the sky and was struck by a profound realization: He had a wife and three sons and a duty to keep on living. “We can write our own life story,” he said. “We cannot change the past, but we do have the choice of how we live moving forward.”
Aloni wrote a song, commemorating his daughter’s life and the struggle to keep on in her absence. It’s called “Power to Choose,” composed by the band The Kin. Having met Conan O’Brien when the latter visited Israel last year, Aloni shared his song and his story with the talk show host, and O’Brien then posted “Power to Choose” on his Facebook page, helping the song go viral. Now Gadot did the same thing; you can watch it below.
“Everyone in the world has this spiritual power within them that is there to help us cope with emergencies and tragedies like this one,” Aloni said in a recent interview. “It’s part of being human. If we don’t use it, we might as well give up. And I wasn’t going to do that.”
There is a story that I’ve been wanting share of a personal experience I had about a month ago when flying home with my family. The captain of our plane had approached and introduced himself, Ofer Aloni. He told me that he had been thinking about reaching out to me so he could tell me his story. He didn’t know when or how he’d be able to do this so it was just through fate, I believe, that we found ourselves on the same flight. Ofer shared his story with me, and I found his spirit incredibly brave and inspiring. Ofer had lost his beloved daughter in the devastating tsunami back in 2004. He went to Thailand with one mission, to find his daughter, instead his worst nightmares became his reality, his daughter lost her life there in Koh Phi Phi. He told me at that moment he was ready to give up, his heart was broken, he wanted to be with his daughter. He looked up to the skies and at that moment of defeat a sudden realization hit him. He closed his eyes and saw a vision of his remaining family—his wife and three sons, from this moment on he chose life. He said, “We can write our own life story, we cannot change the past, but we do have the choice of how we live moving forward.” To me, this is an important message to spread and share—because if these words can help just one person then that’s worth the world to me. Life is so unexpected. We don’t have total control of what might happen tomorrow. But we do have the power to choose to live life for today. Read Ofer’s story, and listen to the song A Power to Choose by @thekin to which his story and words were the inspiration—https://bit.ly/2yH9MOnb