This is Nick Vujicic. He was born with no arms or legs, but one foot-like appendage where his left leg might have been.
I do not know Nick, nor have I ever met him, but every so often I receive an email about him from well-meaning friends and relatives, who are, I assume, intending to encourage me with his inspirational story. Often attached is a YouTube video of Nick on his world-wide public speaking tour saying something like, ‘No matter who you are, or what your situation, don’t give up, there’s always hope....’ Cut to young girl in the audience with a single tear rolling down her cheek.
Unfortunately, these electronic missives usually end up having the opposite effect on me. The message I hear is ‘Hey, here’s a guy similar to you, only better.’ Not only is he missing three more limbs than me, he’s now an international celebrity, and as evidenced on YouTube, a far superior swimmer. To add insult to injury, he’s got a super sexy Australian accent.
The dude’s making me look bad. Why even get up in the morning? I’m sure Nick Vujicic was up five hours before, had coffee and read the Wall Street Journal, and is now off on a ten mile bike run using only his little foot to pedal uphill. Me, I’m still using my one arm to wipe the puddle of slobber off my pillow.
So what do you do when you’re overcome by jealousy and also have a propensity for obsessive preoccupation with pretty much anything?...Learn as much as you can, of course. This morning, I found Nick’s web site and watched a video of him at home going through his daily routine, combing his hair, brushing his teeth, typing at his computer...Hmm, impressive. I find myself watching with great interest as he holds a cup under the water dispenser, while pushing the lever with his forehead. Then I click on a video summary of a visit to a prison in California. He speaks from his heart, about faith being his foundation, and how much he loves the men in blue jumpsuits spread across the lawn. Yeah, did I mention he loves Jesus, too.
Afterward, the inmates stand in line just to meet Nick and give him a hug, some holding onto him, obviously not wanting to let go. I’m smiling, moved by the bare emotion coming to the surface on these men. Then, I start to cry.
Dammit! I’ve been inspired.
So, Nick, wherever you are, or if you ever happen to read this (which is unlikely considering how busy you keep making appearances
to your adoring fans), I admit it, you got to me. And now I’d kind of like to meet you and give you a hug. I think we could be friends. Maybe start a club. Do you need a one-armed girl roadie? Nick?
In case I’ve peaked your interest, here’s the web address to Nick’s blog: www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/nick. But if you start reading his blog instead of mine, we can no longer be friends, because I’ll have to hate you.
And to my wonderful well-meaning friends and relatives, don’t stop sending me those inspirational forwards. They say keep your enemies closer, after all. But seriously, I’d miss seeing Nick Vujicic in my inbox.