"No Arms, No Legs, No Limits" - Nick Vujicic, Life Without Limbs
|Nick at a young age, resting on a skateboard (thesun.co.uk)
A man lies on his side and stares at a camera that fixes its eye upon him. The camera continues to focus its gaze until it reveals a body with no limbs, except for a single foot. A radiant smile bursts from his face, illuminating the seemingly pitiful environment that surrounds him. Here lies a man with no arms, no legs, no limbs, yet he is smiling. He almost seems to be expressing the nature of contentment itself. Born with a rare affliction called tetra-amelia syndrome, Nick Vujicic was cast into this world without any limbs to support himself, yet he continued to live his life to the fullest. Ignoring the hindrances that tried to pull him down, Nick Vujicic accomplished two degrees in accounting and financial planning. Realizing that his own experiences could inspire other to push towards their dreams, at the age of nineteen, he began to travel around the world to provide comforting and loving words for those in need. Currently, Nick Vujicic is the president and CEO of a non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs, urging others with disabilities to follow the yearns and goals of their hearts. Even though many looked upon Nick with distain and rejection, he continued to push himself and ignore what the outside world thought of him. He knew "that his self-worth was not tied to what he looked like or couldn't do" (O'Brien), so he never let a mirror judge his possibilities of making a future. In spite of his circumstances, Nick Vujicic never let his eyes wander away from the goal that his mind and heart were never willing to let go. His resourcefulness, his unrelenting persistence, and his overwhelming abundance of compassion towards the needy kept him continuing on his trek towards his goal; a goal filled with the passion of letting others understand the true meaning of encouragement through inspirational speeches unraveled from his heart.
Nick Vujicic uses all that he can find within his mind and environment to obtain the goal of helping those faced with mental or physical poverty. His resourcefulness seems to never end. During a speech of his, Vujicic tried to send one of his messages home by summarizing a scene of his life, "'Every single person on earth has imperfections... When I was a child nobody knew that I could do a lot of things. I used whatever was available, even this little foot'" (Garcia). Vujicic understood how his disabilities put him at many disadvantages, but he didn't want his life to be enveloped in the gloomy light of depression. Even with all these hindrances, "Vujicic acquired a double degree in accounting and financial planning. He was able to do his school work with the help of his tiny foot and two toes." He could also "swim, play football, and golf" (Garcia). At a first glance, Vujicic exemplifies someone who can't do anything, but he didn't let these judgments put him down. He used all he could with all he had to make the best out of his challenging life. A third person encounter of Nick Vujicic during a speech makes itself known through this scene: "Wearing a wireless microphone, Vujicic zoomed onto the stage in his wheelchair. He was lifted onto a table for his talk, in which he made fun of his "chicken drumstick" foot, hopped from one end of the table to the other, tipped himself over and righted himself" (O'Brien). During this speech, Vujicic used his own disabilities as an advantage. To keep his audience focused upon his message, Nick delineated his depressing life humorously. He also used the action of righting himself with only one foot to show how one could do whatever his/her heart desired. Vujicic employs whatever he has to keep the audience aware of his disabilities and how he overcomes them. Nick Vujicic's ability to use all his disabilities as a factor to improve his own and other lives magnifies his resourcefulness in making the best out of any situation.
|Life Without Limbs, a book by Nick Vujicic (wherethegreengrassgrows84.blogspot.com)
Many hindrances came Nick Vujicic's way as he progressed through a path towards his goal, but he never let these obstructions push him down. His persistence overcame all the obstacles that tried to block the path towards his goal. In one of his speeches, Vujicic explained how fear could dull one's view of his/her dreams, causing him/her to fall into a dark void of failure, never to get back up again, "'Who puts limits on our dreams? Fear? FEAR, False Evidence Appearing Real, is the biggest disability of all. If you fail, you have to try again,' he said" (Garcia). These words from Vujicic emphasize how fear creates a barrier for people trying to continue on with their dreams. It blocks them from following the path that their hearts yearn for, fading the light that had provided them with a path to see and follow; a goal to comprehend and grasp. Without a spark of light to lead the way, there is nothing but a dark void, welcoming them to a deep darkness where hope cannot lend a match to lighten the environment. The fear of another failure can lead to the loss of wanting to try again. Failure is what pushes people to the ground. Fear is what keeps them on the floor, hopeless. It is the person's choice to get back up again, to spark the chance of success. Vujicic urges others to never give up. Even when a person falls, he/she must never lose the hope of succeeding, of passing the barrier of fear. In another speech, Vujicic recalled a fact that found itself flowing from his mouth: "According to Vujicic, US Inventor Thomas Alva Edison succeeded in creating the light bulb after failing 9,999 times. 'On his 10,000th attempt, he perfected his light bulb and now we enjoy it. If he happened to stop at 9,999, we wouldn't have the light bulb. We wouldn't taste the fruit of his failure,' he said. 'Every failure is a step closer to success; every time you try and fail you learn something new'" (Garcia). Through this illustration, Vujicic managed to paint the picture of how one must never lose the mentality of trying again and again. The path towards a goal or destination can only be reached one step at a time. There might be times when the steps find themselves wandering away from the path, but one must never give up the hope of finally reaching the destination. This speech from Vujicic magnifies his strong willpower and persistence. When someone gives up, his hope is lost and is there no chance of success. Once he tries again, there is that chance of succeeding. Nick Vujicic's persistence is one filled with the surging energy of an unsurpassable bull. He will make sure to always get back up after a fall. He will never give up.
Nick Vujicic reveals his compassion for others through expressions of love he shows to those in need. During one of his trips, Vujicic found himself in a situation where decisions could leave a major impact in the lives of others: "His determination to spread his positive outlook caused him to keep his engagement at the school, even though he was ill" (O'Brien). Nick Vujicic was ill, but he couldn't let his own petty problems hamper him from providing encouragement and love for those who truly needed it. He understood how situations of schools could turn out. In his own school, "he was teased by his schoolmates and suffered depression, loneliness, and poor self-esteem" ("Nick Vujicic"). Nick Vujicic's love and compassion for others propelled him into a mentality where other lives came first. He wanted what was best for others, ignoring the pain that welled up inside of him. While Vujicic was lecturing to another school, he released a quote which seemed to leave an impression of complete love: "'You have no idea how many people in this school look at themselves in the mirror and hate themselves,' he said. 'I love you the way that you are. Why? because that's the love that has set me free from all fear'" (O'Brien). Nick Vujicic wanted his audience to know that he truly did care for them. He wanted to be there to comfort them, to encourage them to go on. Vujicic used his own love for others to inspire them to express that same love to people in need and distress. He wanted to be an inspiration that encouraged others to bring the needy up. Vujicic's passion to help others burns with an unquenchable fire of love. His compassion is one that will never die; it will never fall away.
|Nick Vujicic (newzofday.com)
"Everywhere he [Nick Vujicic] goes... he encourages people to find their life's purpose and to fulfill it... Vujicic shares the importance of having a vision, dreaming big, and letting go of mental or physical obstacles that people think are keeping them from having a positive or profound life. Vujicic stresses that attitude is an important tool when making choices, and he uses the example of his own life to bring his message home. Saying that some people are too eager to embrace failure" ("Nick Vujicic"). Nick Vujicic never allowed his appearance and abilities to wrench his feet from under, pulling him into an abyss of failure. After he finally reached his goal, Nick let soft and moving words stream from his mouth, lightly drifting into the ears of his audience, enveloping them in a warm embrace of affection and love. He also made sure to use all that he had to make the best out of his situation. In beginning of Nick Vujicic's life, he never expected to succeed. In fact, during one of his speeches, he confessed these words: "'When I was 8, I thought of committing suicide and at 10 I actually tried. I never thought that I would be happy without hands and legs. Some kids considered me an alien,' he said" (Garcia). He wanted his life to end. Many walls blocked light from illuminating the purpose of his life. These walls continued to dull his world until only a faint flicker of hope was left. He couldn't understand why he was the one without any limbs, why he was so alone, so empty. Fortunately, with the help of his Father's mighty hand and his own desire to succeed, Nick Vujicic was able to make something out of his life. He was able to forge a life that he didn't even think was possible from within walls of discouragement and failure. The inspiration he was able to imprint upon others through his actions mystifies my mind. How could a man inundated with so many disabilities portray love for others? How was he able to go through such immeasurable pain to follow through with his dreams? It was the hero dwelling inside of Nick Vujicic that pushed him past his limitation and into a bright and satisfying future. Nick Vujicic's smile still manages to amaze the hearts of many who look upon that pitiful life form; yet underneath that smile lies an even deeper meaning that only lets itself free from within its cages when he opens his mouth to start another spark of inspiration for others to experience and enjoy for the rest of their lives. "'There is at least one of you who will be leaving this place changed and never be the same again'" (O'Brien).
Garcia, Ben. "Success without hands or legs." Kuwait Times 15 Feb. 2010: Newspaper Source. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.
"Nick Vujicic." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.
O'Brien, Barbara. "Limbless speaker teaches compassion." Buffalo News, The (NY) 13 Feb. 2009: Newspaper Source. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.
Life Without Limbs
- Nick Vujicic's main website
- A song from Nick Vujicic explaining how there is always something more
- A video filled with clips of Nick Vujicic's actions