It was supposed to be a normal birth. There was nothing to unsettle the doctors or to worry the parents. But the unexpected happened, the boy was born with no legs and no arms! The parents, Dusanka and Borislav Vujicic, Serbian immigrants from Yugoslavia, were shocked at his birth. The father hoped and prayed that his son should not live long in that condition. The mother couldn’t hold the baby for four months. It was that devastating!
This is how the story of Nick Vujicic, born on 4th December 1982, in Melbourne, Australia makes sad reading at the beginning. However, how the odds were overcome is what makes the story an extraordinary piece of inspiration!
His Childhood and His Unanswered Questions
“I encourage you to accept that you may not be able to see a path right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.”
― Nick Vujicic, Life Without Limits
Shortly after the Victorian State law was changed to allow kids with disabilities in the mainstream schools, Nick’s parents did not hesitate to give him an opportunity of integration. While this would take him through a daunting experience, on one hand, it proved
to be a springboard of his “life without limits” on the other.
At school, among his peers, he faced ridicule and bullying. As he faced this problem, he became grumpy and distraught. His parents, however, were very supportive. For instance, there was a time that the mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a serious disability from another part of the world. It inspired him so much that he accepted the reality of his condition. It was this acceptance and also his faith in God that helped Nick to go on to become an inspirational figure as we know him today.
His achievements and life without limits
“If I fail, I try again, and again, and again. If YOU fail, are you going to try again? The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. It matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?”
― Nick Vujicic
Parental love was crucial for the preservation of his life at the time when it didn’t make sense. His late father, Boris, gives this insight and inspiration of how the family navigated those challenges with love, grace, and courage in his book “Raising the Perfectly Imperfect Child.”
When Nick tried to end his life in the bathroom when he was 10, it was the remembrance of the love of his parents which constrained him. In fact, with the support of his parents, Nick learned to write with his toes, and would even throw tennis balls, hold a glass of water, comb his hair and brush his teeth. He also mastered playing drums, swimming, playing golf, and answering telephone calls. Nick even boasted of such things as being a daredevil skydiver and simply doing things that some people without limbs might even cringe to do. He even mustered typing up to 45 words per minute on a computer using his toe.
Though he faced a great deal of bullying, Nick still thrived in his teenage and young adult years. He graduated from Griffith University at the age of 21 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a double major in accountancy and financial planning. In 2005, Nick founded “Life Without Limbs,” an international non-profit organization and ministry. In 2007, he founded Attitude is Altitude, a secular motivational speaking company.
Vujicic’s first book, Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life, was published by Random House in 2010 with great acclaim and went on to be translated into over 30 languages. He is further renowned for the following books (you can buy them here):
- Your Life Without Limits(2012)
- Limitless: Devotions for a Ridiculously Good Life (2013)
- Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action (2013)
- The Power of Unstoppable Faith (2014)
- Stand Strong (2015)
- Love Without Limits (2016)
- Be the Hands and Feet: Living Out God’s Love for All His Children (2018).
He also starred as ‘Will’ in a short film, “the Butterfly Circus” where he was awarded Best Actor for his starring performance. In August 2011, Attitude is Altitude released a single music video by Vujicic called “Something More”.
Nick married Kanae Miyahara in 2012 and has four children. This was in itself something that not even his parents thought was possible when he was still a toddler. But he found his love and cherished his romance so much that he even wrote a book ‘Love without Limits.’ He now lives in California, USA, and doubles as an Evangelist and as a Motivational speaker.
Facing and Overcoming the Monster of Bullying
“The challenges in our lives are there to STRENGTHEN our CONVICTIONS. They are NOT there to run us over.”
― Nick Vujicic
At the age of 17, Nick started his non-profit charity, Life Without Limbs.
This was the beginning of his anti-bullying campaign which has been one so close to his heart. As one who struggled with this himself as a child, the physical and emotional pain has given way to a voice for those who suffer this unpleasant experience in different ways. In his book, Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying (and other stuff that keeps you down), Nick confronts the monster of bullying and gives an insight into the different areas where people find themselves bullied and how to handle the challenges.
His Fulfilment and Purpose
“It’s a lie to think you’re not good enough. It’s a lie to think you’re not worth anything.”
― Nick Vujicic
Nick’s life has had an impact on many people in the world today. He has traveled to more than 60 countries giving hope to people. Nick is an established evangelist and he does not shy away to talk about his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In a world of correctness and liberal tendencies, Nick has done what perhaps may never be allowed ordinarily, talking about his faith in a plane and about anywhere else where he has had an opportunity to speak. The faith that he sealed at the age of 15 keeps him going, radiating joy and being grateful and purposeful.
Lesson from Nick Vujicic’s Story
“… for every disability you have, you are blessed with more than enough abilities to overcome your challenges.”
― Nick Vujicic
We can never give excuses for why we can’t make it in life. If we can look long enough, we shall find that we are endowed with enough gifts to make it. Nick stopped focusing on what he didn’t have and concentrated on what he had. He made a choice not to continue brooding on what seemed to be a curse or misfortune and looked on the positive side. Instead of his disability being forever a burden to himself or the family, it becomes a blessing to them and even beyond them. If a man without limbs could make it, anyone can. If Nick has no limbs but no worries, why should you?
It is important also that we raise awareness of the evils of bullying. Parents should teach their children never to mock other children who look different from them. Cyberbullying must also be fought against with all seriousness. In families, we should take care of all the members with disabilities, listen to their fears and concern, and encourage them to overcome their challenges. Many more should live a life without limit, why not?